PM Modi, Sharif may meet today in Russia
During Friday’s meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, Modi is expected to voice concerns over cross-border terrorism and discuss the state of bilateral ties and their future direction.
“It is confirmed. PM @narendramodi and PM Nawaz Sharif will have a bilateral meeting in Ufa tomorrow at 9.15 am (9.45 am IST) on sidelines of SCO Summit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted. The confirmation came hours after Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that possibilities were always there that the two leaders could meet.
Sharif himself parried questions on how hopeful he was about Friday’s meeting. “Let us first talk. Then I will talk to you. He also avoided answering a question whether the meeting is a major step forward in Indo-Pak relations. Officials said Modi and Sharif would be reviewing the relationship, against the backdrop of <g data-gr-id="23">war</g> of words between the two sides over India’s role in the liberation of Bangladesh after Modi visited Dhaka.
Terrorism for India is a major concern, an official said, indicating that the issue could be taken up at tomorrow s meeting. In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said bilateral issues of importance will be discussed in the Modi-Sharif meeting. “India has proposed a meeting and Pakistan has positively responded to it,” the spokesman said. Modi and Sharif met for the first time in Delhi in May last year when the Pakistani leader came to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Indian Prime Minister.