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PM Modi and Imran Khan exchange pleasantries at SCO summit


Bishkek, June 14: Amid tensions between the two neighbours and speculation over whether they would talk or not of Bishkek Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan today 'exchanged usual pleasantries' at the SCO Summit in the Kyrgyz capital, said reports. Both leaders were at the Leaders' Lounge at the SCO Summit in Bishkek today.

PM Modi and Imran Khan

On Thursday, reports said that both sat across the table at a dinner at the Frunze restaurant, but there was no exchange of pleasantries.

The exchange of pleasantries came over two weeks after Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote separate letters to their Indian counterparts, pushing for restarting the bilateral talks. India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by a Pakistan-based terror group, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.

Earlier, reports from Bishkek said Modi and Khan didn't shake hands or exchange pleasantries at a dinner hosted by the Kyrgyz president and at a concert. At both events, the two leaders were seated a few seats apart.

[Your onus should be on peace, US tells Pakistan][Your onus should be on peace, US tells Pakistan]

Also, there is an air space ban on Indian flights from flying over certain regions in Pakistan. Khan had said that Pakistan was willing to allow PM Modi' flight to enter its air space. But, India announced that Modi will not take the Pakistani air space for flying to the SCO summit in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and instead will fly by the circuitous route through Oman and Iran.

Tensions flared between India and Pakistan in February after suicide attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed at Pulwama in Kashmir killed 40 CRPF troops. India then retaliated by carrying out air strikes at terror camps in Balakot, Pakistan.

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