Thursday Jun 08 2017
Web Desk

Sharif, Modi exchange pleasantries in Astana

Web Desk

ASTANA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday exchanged pleasantries with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

India media quoting sources said Prime Minister Modi inquired about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s health and that of his family. The Indian prime minister inquired about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s health as it was their first meeting after the latter’s heart surgery.

While there has been speculation about a meeting between PM Sharif and Modi, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has stated that there is no meeting scheduled from their side.

Relations between the South Asian neighbours have deteriorated after India’s continued violations at the Line of Control. India has also raised the issue of RAW agent Kulbhusan Jadhav’s death sentence at the International Court of Justice. Jadhav was awarded the death sentence after he was found to be involved in terrorist activity in Pakistan.

A group photo at the SCO summit in Russia in 2015. Photo: Reuters

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached Kazakhstan on Thursday to attend the two-day meeting of the Heads of State Council of SCO.

Both Pakistan and India are expected to be granted full membership of the SCO.

With the inclusion of Pakistan and India, the SCO will have a total of eight states as permanent members — after China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other observer states and governments and international organisations are also part of the group.

The group will then represent nearly half of the world’s population after the inclusion of the subcontinental neighbours.