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 on Friday 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, sources said.
The exchange of pleasantries came after Imran Khan wrote twice to PM Modi seeking dialogue for the resolution of all problems, including that of the disputed Kashmir region.
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.
On Thursday, according to reports, Khan was seated three seats away from PM Modi at the informal dinner as the two leaders avoided each other.
India has already clarified that there will be no meeting between PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart 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.
PM Modi had reached Bishkek via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries bypassing Pakistani airspace.
Pakistan had earlier decided in principle to let Prime Minister Narendra Modi fly over its airspace to Bishkek following India’s request. However, India had changed its plan at the last moment.
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.