Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif exchanged pleasantries with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at a reception in the Kazakh capital on Thursday night amid escalating tensions between their two countries over a range of issues.
According to Outlook India, Modi and Sharif exchanged greetings when they were in the leaders’ lounge for the reception at the Astana Opera organised to welcome the leaders who are participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.
Since it was the first occasion when the two leaders came across each other after Sharif’s heart surgery, Modi enquired about his health, sources told Outlook India. Modi also enquired about Sharif’s mother and family, they said.
Earlier, asked whether Modi and Sharif will have a bilateral meeting, External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, “Our position has not changed. There is no proposal from their side. There is no proposal either from our side.”
India has been maintaining that there was neither any request from the Pakistani side nor any such proposal from the Indian side for a Modi-Sharif meeting.
Both Modi and Sharif arrived in Astana on Thursday to participate in the SCO Summit which will induct both India and Pakistan as its full members on Friday.
Ties between India and Pakistan have nosedived over a range of issues, including border skirmishes and the death sentence handed down to RAW agent Kulbhushan Jhadav by a military court for espionage and stoking terrorism in Pakistan.
The Line of Control in disputed Jammu and Kashmir state has also been witnessing rising tensions.
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