QUINGDAO: Sharing the dais at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. The handshake comes at a time of hightened tensions between India and Pakistan along the border.
Soon after, PM Modi in an apparent attack on Pakistan, slammed the attempts being made to "threaten" peace in Afghanistan and appealed for a regional front against terrorism. Modi said the worsening situation in Afghanistan was "an unfortunate example" of terrorism.
— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2018
Both India and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of plotting terror attacks in their countries. "All parties in the region should respect the sentiment with which (Afghan) President Ghani has taken courageous steps for peace," Modi said. He added that it was "our common responsibility to ensure that reasons that threaten Afghanistan's sovereignty and security are not repeated".
The relations between India and Pakistan had strained after an attack on an army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terror organisations in 2016. The ties took a severe hit post-sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court in April last year.
India had also boycotted the 19th SAARC Summit after the Uri attack. The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet. The Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir has also witnessed escalation of hostilities.
India has been raising the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in various multilateral forums with an aim to build pressure on Islamabad to dismantle the terror infrastructure operating from that country.
President Hussain, on the other hand, did not address the issue of terrorism and instead spoke of the economic stability in Pakistan. He exuded confidence that the upcoming general elections in his country will further bolster economic stability in Pakistan. He also added that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has boosted Pakistan's economy.
India has been strongly opposing the CPEC as it goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
(With PTI inputs)