Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
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.
Modi conveyed this during a bilateral with President Xi at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, last evening. 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 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.”
Gokhale said PM Modi informed President Xi that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terrorism. And at this stage we did not see this as happening. “We expect Pakistan to take concrete action in the areas of concern that we have flagged,” Gokhale quoted Modi as having said at the bilateral.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Modi that India and China “do not pose threats” to each other as he expressed Beijing’s willingness to join New Delhi in pushing forward a closer development partnership between the two sides.
In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said that President Xi told Prime Minister Modi that India and China should deepen cooperation by properly handling differences and called for strengthening Confidence Building Measures to maintain stability at the border.