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Govt rejects Modi-Sharif's 'secret meet' in Nepal during SAARC summit last year

Media reports said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a secret meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year.


Govt rejects Modi-Sharif's 'secret meet' in Nepal during SAARC summit last year

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said that media reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a secret meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last year was completely baseless.

Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs said that no such meeting took place in Kathmandu.

Yesterday, Pakistan's Federal Government spokesman had also rubbished reports, saying no such meeting was held during the SAARC conference in Kathmandu.

Media reports quoting a book had it that a year ago, Modi and Sharif held an hour-long secret meeting.

Both the leaders shared their constraints while agreeing they needed more time and greater political space to move forward with public engagements.

On the other hand, the Congress today sought to know from the government whether reports that PM Modi had a secret meeting with Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit last year were correct.

"Did the Prime Minister at all have a meeting with Pakistan PM? If yes, then why did his government kept it secret? Was it for image? Optics? 56-inch-chest or for political deliverables?" party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi asked while talking to reporters, as per PTI.

If it is yes, then did the PM consider the Ministry of External Affairs either incompetent or incapable as he had to engage an industrialist for the purpose, Singhvi asked.

He also wanted to know whether the Prime Minister raised the issue of as many as 900 ceasefire violations by Pakistan and whether he took up the issue of mastermind of 26/11 moving freely in Pakistan.

Besides, he sought to know whether the PM took up the issue of support of Pakistan to India's bid for a seat in the UN Security Council. Whether Pakistan was playing dog in the manger on the issue with support from China?

Singhvi said if the meeting had taken place then it has happened despite categorical denials on the part of the government any meeting having been planned, leave part a meeting having taken place.

Dubbing the government's Pakistan policy as "confused, directionless and contradictory", he said that the "dilly dallying on an issue as sensitive like our relations with Pakistan has been visible ever since the Modi government assumed office".

Asked for his reaction, a senior BJP leader said, "Anyone who understands the way Modi conducts his foreign affairs would realise that he believes in direct diplomacy. So involving anyone else is almost out of the question.

"It is Congress policy to use industrialists, writers or journalists to facilitate such meeting. This (story) seems to have been used to promote the book and there may not be any truth in it."

(With PTI inputs)

From Zee News

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