The Minister of External Affairs Friday dismissed all reports of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Day 2 of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Pakistan has also denied reports of any such meet between the two leaders.
The two Prime Ministers, however, exchanged “usual” pleasantries and shook hands in the Leaders' Lounge in the presence of several other world leaders.
“Some are commenting on social media that a meeting took place. Even Pakistan is not claiming a meeting took place. Let me once again reiterate that no meeting took place. No pull aside. Only exchange of usual pleasantries in the Leaders' Lounge where other leaders also present. Request not to twist facts,” said the MEA in a statement.
Denying reports of meeting between PM Modi and Khan, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said, “There was no structured meeting decided but yes, there was a meeting, pleasantries were exchanged. They shook hands. This happened today when leaders were gathering at the Holding Room. Cannot say who initiated this as I was not present there.”
“He (Imran Khan) congratulated him (PM Modi) on his win, he defeated a very well entrenched political party, family in India in elections,” added Qureshi.
The development comes a day after both the leaders avoided each other at an informal dinner hosted by Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on Day 1 of SCO summit. Except for each other, PM Modi and Khan shook hands with everyone.
Earlier on Friday, the PM reiterated India's strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable while addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan looked on.