Pakistan needs to create a terror-free atmosphere: Modi tells Xi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told President Xi Jinping that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free from terror and take concrete action to end the scourge but does see Islamabad doing it at this stage.

This was conveyed by Modi to Xi during their brief meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting here even as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived here for participating in the grouping’s meeting.

“There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. We have a consistent position with respect to Pakistan. The Prime Minister recalled that he has made efforts and these efforts have been derailed. Pakistan is an all-w

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“He has informed the Chinese President that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terror and at this stage, we do not see this happening. We expect it to take concrete action,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters here when he was asked whether terrorism sponsored from Pakistan that was spoiling the situation in the region came up at the meeting.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiralled following the deadly February 14 Pulwama terror attack. New Delhi has remained rooted in its stand, saying that terror and talks with Islamabad cannot go together.

During the meeting, Modi noted that strategic communication between the two sides improved which had led to long-pending issues being resolved such as the opening of a Bank of China branch in India and the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

“The two leaders had a warm and cordial discussion on a range of subjects. Xi Jinping congratulated the Prime Minister for his victory in the general elections and said it was reflective of the aspirations and trust that the people had placed on the Prime Minister. Both leaders reviewed the bilateral ties and noted a new momentum in this bilateral relationship since the Wuhan summit in last April,”

“The Prime Minister noted what had improved between two sides is strategic communication and in that context, we have been able to resolve long pending issues like the opening of Bank of China branch in India and the issue related to the listing of Masood Azhar,” he said.

In May, the United Nations (UN) designated Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’ after China blacklisted him by lifting its technical hold.

In the past, China had stalled India’s proposal to enlist Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’ at least four times in the last 10 years, the latest being in March this year. Beijing had previously blocked New Delhi’s bid three times — in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

On his first visit for a multilateral forum meeting after reelection, Modi met Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in which both the sides discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations.

“Your birthday falls on June 15. On behalf of the people of India, I give my best wishes to you. After election results, I received your message and you congratulated me again. I am obliged. Together, we can move forward and work with each other in various areas in the coming days,” Modi said in his opening remarks.

Later, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “Building on the momentum of high-level exchanges, PM @narendramodi had a warm meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Leaders discussed all aspects of enriching our bilateral relations & recognised the positive role of strategic communication in deepening our partnership.”

This is the first bilateral meeting between Modi and Xi this year.


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