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Thursday February 29, 2024

No secret Nawaz-Modi meeting at Saarc summit

By our correspondents
December 04, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) held a meeting one year and three days ago in Nepalese capital Kathmandu, attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi along with other six heads of state/ government.
An Indian journalist who is known for her association with an Indian secret outfit has revealed after lapse of one year that the two Prime Ministers had a secret meeting curtsey an Indian businessman during their stay in Kathmandu.
According to the newsperson, the two Prime Ministers simultaneously disappeared for an hour. Number of journalists and newspersons were present in the city including this scribe. But at no point in time such “disappearance” was observed. She has forgotten that two Prime Ministers and other six leaders had about three hours’ ‘retreat’ meeting at a hilltop resort Dhulikhel, some 20km from the Nepalese capital on November 27, where they had gone by choppers.
The meeting was extensively reported by the media although it wasn’t given access to the place. The two Prime Ministers also had exchange of views in the presence of other leaders in candid manner. The second and final day of the 18th Saarc summit also saw the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries after they cold-shouldered each other a day earlier signaling a possible change in atmospherics between the two countries though there was no news of a resumption of a stalled dialogue.
The sole pact was signed by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka after the heads of government of Saarc countries managed a breakthrough during their customary retreat on the second day of the two-day summit.
The other two pacts — one permitting motor vehicles to traverse the region and another to allow the movement of railways — will be sorted out in three months, with the transport

ministers of Saarc countries empowered to sort out any hitches in the way of implementing the deals. Then Indian spokesman said that there was an exchange of greetings and pleasantries between Nawaz Sharif and Modi at retreat. The atmosphere at the retreat was “very convivial” with all the leaders extremely comfortable with each other. The leaders spent a lot of time with each other but the exchanges between India and Pakistan did not constitute a dialogue or meaningful talks, the Indian spokesman clarified. The observers are of the view that Indian Prime Minister Modi is currently under severe stress at home and though such rumors and gestures he is trying to improve his position. It is unlikely that Pakistan would provide the extremist leader of India to seek relief by exploiting Pakistan or its Prime Minister’s reference. In the meanwhile, government of Pakistan has termed alleged secret meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart as baseless.
According to government’s spokesperson, the government has clarified that no such meeting had taken place between the two leaders. The running of the news by some media organizations despite the government’s clarification is meant to involve the Prime Minister Office in the matter.