BISHKEK: After the bilateral diplomatic chill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exchanged pleasantries with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan in the Leaders’ Lounge at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit venue at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.
The exchange of pleasantries came weeks after Imran wrote to Modi seeking to restart bilateral talks.
The interaction happened after Modi’s hard talk at the summit, where he attacked countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terror and urged the grouping to hold them accountable, a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan, with Imran seated on the dais as well. Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation was total.
Modi also called for a global conference to combat terrorism, and suggested using the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) platform for forging cooperation against terror.
“Countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable,” he underlined.
SCO member countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against terror, Modi said in the presence of President Xi Jinping of China, which is an all-weather friend of Pakistan.
For his part, Xi reportedly offered support to Pakistan and India to improve their strained relations during his meeting with Imran, China’s state-run media reported.
Later in the day, Modi held bilateral talks with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and announced a $200 million line of credit to the country.
The two sides agreed to upgrade their ties to the level of strategic partnership. They signed 15 agreements, including one to eliminate double taxation, and prepared a five-year roadmap to enhance trade.
Imran greets Modi
While exchanging pleasantries, Imran Khan congratulated Narendra Modi on his election victory. This was their first face-to-face interaction after Imran became prime minister.
The two sides, however, did not hold any bilateral meeting despite Pak request to reopen talks.