SCO summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Astana, reported Times Now on Thursday night. The channel reported that PM Modi who is in Astana to attend the two-day-long SCO Summit also enquired about Nawaz Sharif’s health. The report added that PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif also exchanged courtesies but no substantial talks took place between them. Apart from Modi and Sharif, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the top leaders who attended the reception hosted by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Earlier in the day, PTI had reported that when Sharif was asked about his meeting with Modi, he only smiled and waved at the media persons which many interpreted as an indication of a possible meeting or at least a pull-aside between the two leaders. However, leading up to the summit, India maintained that there was neither any request from the Pakistani side nor any such proposal from the Indian side for a Modi-Sharif meeting. Both the leaders arrived in Astana to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit which will induct both India and Pakistan as its full members on Friday.
The relations between India and Pakistan have been tense after the 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. In the past few weeks, both the countries have also exchanged firing on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
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The SCO Summit started on Thursday with a spectacular concert on Thursday. The opening act was of Indian classical dance Kathak in which eight dancers from Bengaluru-based NADAM put up ‘Mahaganapathim’, an ode to the god of auspicious beginnings, Lord Ganesha. Interestingly, India was also the only observer country to perform at the event.