Nawaz Sharif to hold 'important bilateral meetings' at SCO, may meet PM Modi

 Pakistan on Monday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hold "important bilateral meetings" on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Russia this week but did not specify whether he will have an interaction with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

PTI| Updated: Jul 06, 2015, 16:22 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hold "important bilateral meetings" on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Russia this week but did not specify whether he will have an interaction with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Sharif will attend the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, on July 9-10, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

"The Prime Minister will also hold important bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO Summit," it said.

A Pakistani official on condition of anonymity said the Sharif-Modi meeting was likely to take place but refused to give details.

Last week, Pakistan had said no formal request was made by either side for a meeting but such interactions often take place on the sidelines of multilateral fora.

"No side has contacted the other for a meeting so far. However, as you would be aware, in any multilateral setting, meetings among Heads of State and Government is a normal feature," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah had said when asked about the possibility of a Sharif-Modi meeting in Russia.

Pakistan and India were involved in a war of words recently with leaders from both sides exchanging sharp comments after Prime Minister Modi's critical remarks about Pakistan during his Dhaka visit last month and in the wake of India's military action in Myanmar.

Prime Minister Modi had called up Sharif last month to greet him on the holy month of Ramzan.

If the two leaders meet, it would be their first face-to- face interaction since the two leaders shook hands in Kathmandu at the SAARC Summit last year.

Modi had invited Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony in 2013 and it was expected that the two sides will resume the stalled peace dialogue but the relations deteriorated last year with some of the worst clashes taking place at the border.