New Delhi/Bishkek: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Pakistan “needs to create an atmosphere free of (cross-border) terrorism” before New Delhi can hold bilateral talks with Islamabad on various issues, adding that Pakistan has so far failed to do so.
Mr Modi also spoke about his efforts towards peace with Pakistan which he said had been “derailed”, an obvious reference to his impromptu visit to Lahore in December 2015, which was followed by the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016.
At about the same time, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who is also attending the summit told a Russian news agency that Pakistan’s relationship with India is probably at its “lowest point”, while expressing hope that Mr Modi will use his “big mandate” to resolve all differences, including the Kashmir issue. He added that Pakistan was open for “any kind of mediation”, something which India has always opposed.
Briefing reporters in Bishkek, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said, “There was a very brief discussion on Pakistan. PM (Modi) said we (India) have a consistent position with respect to Pakistan. We (India and Pakistan) discuss all issues through a bilateral mechanism and we look for a peaceful settlement through negotiations. We are committed to this process. PM (Modi) recalled that he has made efforts in this regard and these efforts have been derailed.”