Shanghai summit to bring Modi in same room with Xi, Sharif

Shanghai summit to bring Modi in same room with Xi, Sharif

A multilateral summit in Astana next week will bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the same room with leaders from China and Pakistan.

Modi, who will return from his four-nation tour early on Sunday, will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) summit, which Kazakhstan will host in Astana on June 8 and June 9. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister M Nawaz Sharif will also attend the summit.

New Delhi is yet to confirm whether Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Sharif on the sidelines of the summit, although sources indicated that he might have one with Jinping.

If Modi and Jinping have a bilateral meeting, it will be the first between the leaders of the two neighbouring nations, after India turned down China’s invitation to attend the One Belt One Road (OBOR) conclave.

New Delhi is opposed to OBOR as it includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC. The proposed corridor would pass through areas in Kashmir which India accuses Pakistan of illegally occupying.

Modi may once again nudge Jinping to drop China’s opposition to India’s bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is likely to hold its annual plenary at Berne in Switzerland later this month. He may also ask Jinping to change China’s policy of shielding Pakistan-based terror leaders from the United Nations sanctions.

New Delhi has not yet received any proposal from Islamabad for a meeting between Modi and his Pakistani counterpart.

The persistent cross-border terror attacks, ceasefire violations and death sentence to a former Indian Navy officer by a military court of Pakistan diminished the possibility of an early thaw in bilateral ties between the two nations.

Sources, however, told DH that Russia and China had of late subtly nudged India to engage with Pakistan during the SCO summit.
DH News Service

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