The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday asserted that New Delhi seeks normal and cooperative relations with all neighbours including Pakistan.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “As per the established diplomatic practice, the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Ministry have responded to congratulatory messages received from their counterparts in Pakistan”.

The MEA also said that PM Modi had stressed on the importance of “building an environment of trust free of terror, violence and hostility”.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also emphasised to his counterpart the need for an “atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence”, the spokesperson said.

After ignoring each other at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) informal dinner hosted by Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov at Bishkek, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan exchanged pleasantries on Friday – the second day of the meet.

Modi exchanged usual pleasantries with Khan in the Leaders’ Lounge at the venue of the SCO, official sources said. It is also learnt that Khan congratulated Modi on his election victory during their first face-to-face interaction.

However, there was no meeting between the two leaders.

Khan had on 23 May, breaking the ice in bilateral ties, congratulated PM Modi on Twitter after the BJP-led NDA alliance returned to power by winning 353 seats of the 542 where Lok Sabha elections were held.

India had earlier clarified that there will be no meeting between PM Modi and Imran Khan at the SCO Summit.

In his meeting with Xi Jinping, PM Modi made it clear that there was no question of India resuming dialogue with Pakistan until Islamabad created an atmosphere free of terrorism in the region.

On Friday, in his address at the SCO Summit, PM Modi indirectly slammed Pakistan by telling member states that countries that provide encouragement, support, and finances to terrorism must be held accountable.

Khan was present at the time PM Modi made the remarks.

Relations between Pakistan and India hit a nadir in the last five years with at least three major terror attacks on Indian military establishment and personnel of armed forces since 2016.