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PM Modi, Pak President shake hands at SCO Summit

June 10, 2018 19:44 IST

IMAGE: Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as China's President Xi Jinping walks behind them at a signing ceremony during Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China on Sunday. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Amid frosty bilateral relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday exchanged pleasantries after a press conference by the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Qingdao.

The two leaders shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the end of the media briefing which was addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. China is the host and chair of the SCO.

Modi and Hussain were among the leaders who attended the media briefing after culmination of the 18th SCO summit where India and Pakistan participated as full-fledged members.


The relations between India and Pakistan had strained after an attack on an army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terror organisations in 2016. The ties took a severe hit post-sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court in April last year.

India had also boycotted the 19th SAARC Summit after the Uri attack. The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet.

The Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir has also witnessed escalation of hostilities.

India has been raising the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in various multilateral forums with an aim to build pressure on Islamabad to dismantle the terror infrastructure operating from that country.

Modi held nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries. However, there was no bilateral meeting between Modi and Hussain.

In his address at the summit, Modi, while referring to situation in Afghanistan, talked about challenge of terrorism and its effects.

In his address, President Hussain exuded confidence that the upcoming general elections in his country will further bolster economic stability in Pakistan.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has boosted Pakistan's economy.

India has been strongly opposing the CPEC as it goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Modi held separate bilateral talks with Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia on the sidelines of the summit to further strengthen India's ties with the three resource-rich countries.

'India attaches great significance to ties with Kazakhstan. Had a wonderful meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines of the SCO Summit,' Modi said in a tweet.

Modi met Nazarbayev and invited his country to join the International Solar Alliance, an initiative announced in 2015 whose primary objective is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

'PM Narendra Modi invited Kazakhstan to join the International Solar Alliance and the President of Kazakhstan responded positively,' said Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Modi also met President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov on the sidelines of the summit.

'Glad to have met the President of Kyrgyzstan, Sooronbay Jeenbekov. We deliberated on ways to add strength to our vibrant bilateral partnership,' Modi tweeted.

He also held bilateral talks with Mongolia President Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga.

'Strategic partnership based on deep civilizational, historical and cultural linkages! PM Modi met the President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga on the sidelines of SCO Summit in Qingdao,' said MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Modi held nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.

Modi had on Saturday separate meetings with the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the summit in Qingdao and discussed a range of topics with them to further strengthen India's ties with the resource-rich Central Asian countries.

The prime minister left for home after wrapping up his two-day visit on Sunday.

It is for the first time the Indian prime minister attended the SCO summit after India along with Pakistan became full-fledged members of the grouping, jointly dominated by China and Russia, which has been increasingly seen as a counter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Manash Pratim Bhuyan in Qingdao (China)
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