SCO summit 2018: Narendra Modi and Pakistan president Mamnoon Hussain shake hands, chat briefly

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani president Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday were seen exchanging pleasantries in Qingdao after the signing of agreements between the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The two leaders shook hands amid frosty bilateral relationship and held a brief chat at the end of the media briefing which was addressed by Chinese president Xi Jinping. China is the host and chair of the SCO.

Modi and Hussain were among the leaders who attended the media briefing after culmination of the 18th SCO summit where India and Pakistan participated as full-fledged members.

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 2017.

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain shakes at a signing ceremony during SCO summit. Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain shakes at a signing ceremony during SCO summit. Reuters

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.

Modi held nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries. However, there was no bilateral meeting between Modi and Hussain.

In his address at the summit, Modi, while referring to situation in Afghanistan, talked about challenge of terrorism and its effects.

In his address, Hussain exuded confidence that the upcoming general elections in his country will further bolster economic stability in Pakistan.

He said 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.

India, Pakistan will be part of joint military drills in September

India and Pakistan will participate in 'Peace Mission 2018' military exercises that will be held in Russia's Ural mountain region in September.

The military exercise will take place under the framework of SCO. Almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.

The main aim of the exercise will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries.

India's participation at the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a meeting of SCO defence ministers' meeting in Beijing in April.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Jun 10, 2018 14:44 PM

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