No meeting scheduled between Modi and Imran Khan on sidelines of SCO summit
India on Thursday appeared to rule out any meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit scheduled to be held in Kyrgyzstan later this month.
It also downplayed the visit of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Ahmed to India currently as “personal” and no official meetings were scheduled with him.
“To the best of my knowledge no meeting has been planned between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the SCO Summit in Bishkek,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at his weekly briefing.
When asked if he is “completely” ruling out any possibility of a meeting between the two Prime Ministers, Kumar repeated the same line.
The MEA spokesperson also said that no meeting is planned between Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood and Indian officials. Pakistani Foreign Secretary is in New Delhi on a personal visit, he added.
Talking about the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, Kumar said, “We remain committed to realising the long-pending demands of Indian pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. We want them to visit in a safe, secure and easy manner. We have also shared our concerns and sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee associated with this project.”
Kumar added that India has also sought clarifications on some of the key proposals that were forwarded at the last meeting. “We are still awaiting a response from Pakistan,” he said.
Reacting to reports that 26/11 Mumbai terror accused Hafiz Saeed was denied permission to lead Eid prayers in Pakistan on Wednesday, the MEA spokesperson said, “We have seen reports that a lot is being done in Pakistan. But it has to be kept in mind that step taken by them as we have demanded, is “irreversible” or not?
“Whatever is happening, are those just an eye-wash or is a genuine action against terrorism and terror infrastructure there? We have seen earlier as well that no follow up is done to such actions. It gets reversed. Pakistan must walk the talk.”
He said India’s stand is clear.
“We have earlier said that Pakistan has given shelter to anti-Indian elements in its country. We have said that Pakistan should take action against such elements. They are obliged to take action against groups designated by UN. So we expect that if they are truly serious about improving the relation with India then they will take action against anti-India elements,” he said when asked about Khalistani terrorist Gopal Chawla indulging in anti-India rants on the anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
The MEA spokesperson also refused to comment on the reports of a budget cut by Pakistan for its defence expenditure. (ANI)