Nawaz in Russia to Attend SCO Summit
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif departed from Norway on Thursday for Ufa, Russia to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
During his two-day visit, PM Nawaz is expected to hold meetings with leaders participating in the summit from across the world, including Russian, Chinese and Afghan presidents as well as his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Regarding the premier’s meeting with Modi, a Foreign Office spokesperson said, “Pakistan has responded positively to a suggestion from the other side for a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the summit.”
Reiterating that it has always been PM Nawaz’s policy to seek cordial and cooperative ties with all neighboring countries, including India, the spokesperson added, “It is in the pursuit of this objective that the prime minister would be meeting the Indian premier for a comprehensive exchange on all issues of common interest.
The meeting between Nawaz and Modi comes against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Recently, the relations got strained due to a series of controversial statements made by India’s top political leadership.
Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Bangladesh admitted that his country played a part in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971. The Indian defence minister threatened to use terrorists to ‘neutralise terrorists’ while a junior minister warned Pakistan of ‘surgical strikes.’
The official said the two prime ministers are expected to review the current situation and look into the possibility of some kind of engagement between the two neighbours. Pakistan, however, is not hopeful of any major breakthrough given the track record of the Modi administration, said another official.
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