Will PM Modi, Nawaz Sharif meet? Speculation swirls as leaders attend SCO reception

India has been maintaining that there was neither any request from the Pakistani side nor any such proposal from the Indian side for a Modi-Sharif meeting.

By: PTI | Astana | Updated: June 9, 2017 6:29 pm
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO reception, Narendra Modi, Modi Sharif meeting, Modi in Astana, indian express news Both Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif arrived in Astana on Thursday to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. (File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended a reception and a gala show, marking the beginning of the two-day-long SCO Summit, even as speculation swirled over a possible meeting between him and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to defuse tensions in bilateral ties.

Modi, Sharif, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were among the top leaders who attended the reception hosted by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It was not known whether Modi and Sharif exchanged pleasantries at the reception.

When asked whether he will have a meeting with Modi, Sharif, before leaving for the reception, only smiled and waved at the media persons which many interpreted as an indication of a possible meeting or at least a pull aside between the two leaders.

Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, too did not respond to a query on a possible Modi-Sharif tete-e-tete. India has been maintaining that there was neither any request from the Pakistani side nor any such proposal from the Indian side for a Modi-Sharif meeting.

Both Modi and Sharif arrived in Astana on Thursday to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit which will on Friday induct both India and Pakistan as its full members. Ties between India and Pakistan have nosedived over a range of issues including beheading of two soldiers by the Pakistan military along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and the death sentence handed down to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan on charges of spying. The International Court of Justice has stayed Jadhav’s execution.

The Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir has also been witnessing rising tensions. The events related to the SCO Summit got underway with a spectacular concert this evening.

Indian classical dance Kathak was the first to be featured after the host nation Kazakhstan’s ensemble. Eight dancers from Bengaluru-based NADAM put up ‘Mahaganapathim’ — an ode to the god of auspicious beginnings, Lord Ganesha.

India was the only observer country to perform in the concert which featured traditional and western classical music and dance performances from China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, apart from the hosts.

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  1. S
    Socrates
    Jun 9, 2017 at 3:54 am
    According to P_akistani media, they already exchanged a hand shake and greetings. But probably no hug - which would have been really disgraceful. PM Modi knows how to balance politics and optics of it all.
    Reply
    1. R
      Ramesh Nittoor
      Jun 9, 2017 at 5:57 am
      Yes, Dawn reports with a photo. stan always prefers tutelage of a great power to muster strength to talk as equal with India. Earlier it used to be China and nowadays its China. The new China-Russian bonhomie is working it seems to make a splash in the world scene. Most of the time it has been various wars, but if they can make a Tashkent style brokering/enforcing of peace in subcontinent, they would be game for it. Perhaps, India shall be pressured to compromise, and this worry makes columnist Raja mohan say be wary of China. It will not be that easy to balance politics and optics, this time.
      Reply
      1. R
        Ramesh Nittoor
        Jun 9, 2017 at 5:57 am
        Earlier it used to be USA and nowadays its China.
    2. T
      Truth
      Jun 9, 2017 at 1:22 am
      Poor Sharif ---nobody has hugged him for a while 👻
      Reply
      1. I
        indian
        Jun 9, 2017 at 1:06 am
        It is civilized of Modi ji to be cordial with Mr Sharif at these forums.There is absolutely no point at all in any meaningful discussions with stani political leaders,because they have no authority what so ever to make any commitment,as all that authority of taking decisions lies with the stani Army Generals and the ISI.Any agreements made with PM Sharif or any other stani PM have no force in them.Just a piece of useless paper. Resolution of issues with stan can only be achieved by western sanctions or crushing responses to stani incursions in Kashmir,whereby India mortally hurts both it's state and non state strategic ets.
        Reply
        1. U
          undefined
          Jun 9, 2017 at 4:36 am
          Pe-stan does not have any authority but Islamic State terrorism has authority. Any thing "Muslims" in India, Pe-stan claims authority on it. Today Kashmir then tomorrow part of Old Delhi, Lucknow , Kanpur, .. , Mallapuram, Arcot etc.! Suckers have no clues!
          Reply
        2. d
          dv1936
          Jun 9, 2017 at 12:03 am
          With so much terrorist activity going on in Kashmir, it will not be proper.
          Reply
          1. S
            Suhan
            Jun 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm
            They will meet privately as Indian PM privately went to Sharif's home to eat home made food.
            Reply
            1. G
              George.Cruz
              Jun 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm
              Bed buddies!
              Reply
              1. A
                Andy KKG
                Jun 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm
                Does not matter... Sharif has no power in Foreign Affairs/Military Affairs in Pak .. why talk to someone who has not authority ?
                Reply
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