Astana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged pleasantries with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at a reception here tonight amid escalating Indo-Pak tensions over a range of issues.
Official sources said Modi and Sharif exchanged greetings when they were in the leaders’ lounge for the reception at the Astana Opera organized to welcome the leaders who are participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.
Since it was the first occasion when the two leaders came across each other after Sharif’s heart surgery, Modi enquired about his health, the sources said. Modi also enquired about Sharif’s mother and family, they said. Earlier, asked whether Modi and Sharif will have a bilateral meeting, External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, “Our position has not changed.
There is no proposal from their side. There is no proposal either from our side.” 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 here today to participate in the SCO Summit which will tomorrow 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.