PM Modi, Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif to meet in Tashkent?

Edited By: Rustam Roy
New Delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2022, 02:30 PM(IST)

In this combination of images, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) can be seen along with Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif (right) Photograph:( AFP )

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Highly placed sources say if the meeting between two leaders transpires, then PM Modi may visit the Katas Raj Temple in Pakistan.

According to sources, back channels discussions are underway between Indian and Pakistani officials to formalise a meeting between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan's newly-appointed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during the SCO summit in Tashkent in July.

PM Modi and Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif are expected to attend the SCO summit on July 17 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Highly placed sources say if the meeting between two leaders transpires, then PM Modi may visit the Katas Raj Temple in Pakistan. 

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Sources say the Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif may then host the Indian prime minister in Islamabad.

Both prime ministers had recently exchanged messages on Twitter after Shehbaz Sharif was appointed PM. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif's brother ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif to India during his swearing-in ceremony in 2014.

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The meeting between Sharif and PM Modi however may be subject to stability within the military ranks, sources claim with Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term due to expire in November. 

Reports claimed earlier former PM Imran Khan had tried to sack General Bajwa amid the no-confidence drama in Parliament this month. 

In 2015, PM Modi had visited Pakistan to meet ex-PM Nawaz Sharif during a surprise stopover in Lahore. However, relations between the two sides nosedived after the 2016 Pathankot terrorist attack and the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.

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Both countries had earlier pulled out their high commissioners from each other's countries. India has been operating its mission with a curtailed staff. The possible meeting between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Sharif could be the first step towards the restoration of ties between the two countries, sources say. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

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