Khan, Modi exchanged pleasantries during SCO summit, says Qureshi

The foreign minister describes the meeting between PM Imran Khan, Narendra Modi as a 'courtesy'

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi describes the meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as a "courtesy". — Geo News FILE

BISHKEK: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi shook hands and exchanged pleasantries during their interaction on the sidelines of 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, the Pakistan foreign minister said Friday.

"I have already stated that there was no structured meeting. Yes the meeting did take place, there was a handshake and exchange of pleasantries," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in an exclusive interview with Geo News.

He described the meeting as a "courtesy".

"Pakistan has said what it had to. India has not come out of its election mindset and the extreme position they had taken to influence their constituency and to keep their vote bank intact. It is still confined in that," said the foreign minister, when asked to comment on demand by certain quarters that Pakistan should not repeatedly invite India for talks.

He said India had to make a decision whether to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues, and that Pakistan sought the dialogue to be based on equality.

"So India has to make this decision, we are neither in haste, nor troubled. When India prepares itself, it would find us prepared, but we will hold talks on the basis of equality, in a dignified manner," Qureshi said.

"Neither we need to run after anyone, nor we need to demonstrate stubbornness. Pakistan's approach is very realistic and well thought-out."

PM Khan Thursday reached Kyrgyzstan to attend the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State (CHS) of the SCO held in the capital Bishkek.

The Pakistan premier held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and other key figures on the sidelines of the summit.