BFF-33 India says no plans for Modi to meet Pakistan PM at regional summit

677

ZCZC

BFF-33

INDIA-PAKISTAN-DIPLOMACY-SUMMIT

India says no plans for Modi to meet Pakistan PM at regional summit

NEW DELHI, June 6, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not
scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of an upcoming
regional summit, India said Thursday, despite both leaders exchanging warm
words following Modi’s landslide re-election last month.

Modi and Pakistan’s Imran Khan will travel to Kyrgyzstan for the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet next week, but Indian foreign ministry
spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters that no “bilateral meeting” between
the two was being planned.

New Delhi has suspended bilateral dialogue with Islamabad since 2016 over
its alleged support to militant groups in the Kashmir region that is divided
between the two countries and a longstanding territorial dispute.

Relations nosedived in February, with India launching an air strike inside
Pakistan after accusing its neighbour of harbouring a group that staged a
suicide bomb attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir.

Pakistan launched its own raid the next day and later shot down an Indian
fighter jet and captured its pilot, taking the arch-rivals to the brink of
war.

Tensions have calmed since, with Khan saying in April that a Modi win at
the polls could help settle the Kashmir showdown and his government has
repeatedly stated it is open to dialogue.

Both India and Pakistan became members of the SCO in 2017, joining the
forum founded in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan
and Uzbekistan.

BSS/AFP/ARS/1957 hrs