No Modi-Sharif meet scheduled in Astana: MEA

PMs will attend Shanghai summit in Kazakhstan

No Modi-Sharif meet scheduled in Astana: MEA

No meeting has been scheduled between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart M Nawaz Sharif in Astana this week.

Though Modi and Sharif will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s summit in the capital of Kazakhstan on June 8 and 9, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday told journalists that no bilateral meeting between the two prime ministers had been scheduled so far.

She said that neither India, nor Pakistan had so far proposed a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the SCO summit.

Modi and Sharif had a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the SCO summit at Ufa in Russia in July 2015. Though Modi attended the summit of the bloc in June 2016, Sharif did not and President Mamnoon Hussain represented Pakistan.

Sushma was addressing a press conference to highlight the achievements of the Modi government in managing the foreign relations of the country in the past three years since it had taken office in May 2014.

No flip-flops
She dismissed the allegation that the Modi government had committed several flip-flops in managing India’s troubled relations with Pakistan.

“Our government’s policy on Pakistan rests on three pillars. Firstly, we are ready to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan through dialogue. Secondly, the talks must happen between India and Pakistan, without any role of any third party. And thirdly, talks and terror cannot go together,” said the external affairs minister.

She said that Modi had signalled his government’s willingness for talks to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues between India and Pakistan in May 2014 itself, when he had invited Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

“We have to take note of the changes in the situation (due to continued cross-border terror attacks, violation of ceasefire by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control and death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy officer
Kulbhsuhan Jadhav by a military court in the neighbouring country),” she said, when a journalist asked her about the prospects of resumption of India-Pakistan engagements. 

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