New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi is set to have his first major international meet after assuming the Office of Prime Minister for the second time when he attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek on June 13-14.
He is expected to meet and hold discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping but no official confirmation has been released over a meeting his Pakistan counterpart.
However, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of SCO meeting on May 23 and were seated next to each other during an interaction with Kyrgyz President amid strain in ties between the two countries following the Pulwama terror attack.
MEA sources said that there was no meeting and only exchange of pleasantries between the two leaders. Both the leaders attended the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM).
There is a possibility of Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan exchanging greetings but to hold bilateral talks seems off the table, for now, sources say.
In wake of the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent tailspin that the India-Pakistan ties found itself in, both prime ministers have been civil in their conduct towards each other and recently, the Pakistan Prime Minister also greeted Modi for his party’s landslide victory in 2019 General election.
On the other hand, PM Modi’s meet with Xi Jinping will be of great importance since this is the first time premiers of both countries will meet post Beijing lifting its technical hold against branding terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, by the United Nations Security Council.
Azhar was branded as a global terrorist after China, who held veto power, lifted its contentious hold on his nomination in UN’s terror list.
Congratulating Narendra Modi for his second term in office, Xi had recently said that he wanted to work with Modi to guide the “development directions of the bilateral relations, enhance mutual political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation and promote closer developmental partnership between the two countries to a new height.”