New Delhi, Apr 17: Amid prevailing tension between India and Pakistan over the death sentence to the alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may meet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
According to a report published in Pakistan-based The Express Tribune, “diplomatic sources” have said that the “influential member countries” of SCO want India and Pakistan to re-engage adding that the meeting between both the Prime Minister in the SCO meeting of June is “very much possible.” The report further states that “Pakistan does not want the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav to undermine the overall bilateral engagement process” further stating that despite the established fact of the Indian state in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan, the latter has not changed its policies towards India.
According to the report, India and Pakistan were admitted to SCO in 2017 on the condition that the bilateral ties between both the country would improve and both the country would work together to promote the interest of the SCO.
The report further reminds the meeting between both the country despite tensions prevailing on several issues. Giving the example of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s bus travel to Lahore after the tit-for-tat nuclear test in 1998 and the Agra summit between Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf after an attack on Indian parliament, the report states that at that time too very few had predicted the continuation of bilateral ties between both the countries.
However, no Indian official has yet confirmed about the possible meet between Modi and Sharif in the SCO summit. (Also Read: Government’s responsibility to bring Kulbhushan Jadhav back, says Allahabad High Court)
Relations between India and Pakistan turned further strained after a Pakistani military court on April 10 awarded death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The court granted death sentence to Jadhav for allegedly indulging in “espionage and sabotage” activities against Pakistan. Opposing Jadhav’s death sentence, India had claimed that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and was framed by the ISI.
Stating that Jadhav’s trial was carried out with utmost secrecy and the proceedings of Jadhav’s case has not yet been made public, Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said that the country would go to “any extent to save its son.”