Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan exchanged pleasantries on Friday during the SCO summit in Bishkek. PM Modi exchanged usual pleasantries with Khan in the Leaders' Lounge at venue of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. It is also learnt that Khan congratulated PM Modi on his election victory during their first face-to-face interaction. However, there was no official meeting between the two leaders. Both PM Modi and Khan were in Bishkek to attend the annual summit of the SCO.
The exchange of pleasantries came over two weeks after Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote separate letters to their Indian counterparts, pushing for restarting the bilateral talks. India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by a Pakistan-based terror group, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.
Khan had also made a telephone call to Modi on May 26 and expressed his desire to work together for the betterment of people of the two countries. On his part, Modi said creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.
Following the phone call and letter by Khan to Prime Minister Modi after his re-election for a second term, there were speculation that both may have a meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit here.
PM Modi arrived here in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the SCO. He held bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
He also held talks with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on Friday during a bilateral visit during which the two countries upgraded their relations to strategic partnership level.
Earlier today, in a veiled attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable as he called for a global conference to combat the menace.
Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
India stood for a terrorism-free society, he said. To combat the menace of terrorism, countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against it, Modi said in the presence of his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.
Prime Minister Modi also called on the SCO member states to cooperate under the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) against terrorism.
He also urged the SCO leaders to organise a global conference on terrorism.
PM Modi arrived in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday for the two-day SCO summit. The SCO is a China-led 8-member economic and security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017.