KATHMANDU: PM NarendraModi will not have a bilateral meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, on Wednesday.

With the Saarc summit overtaken by the buzz of an India-Pakistan bilateral meeting, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson on Tuesday night set speculation at rest. Modi will meet the heads of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan, with Pakistan being conspicuously absent.

The Indian announcement came hours after the Pakistani PM said he was willing to meet the Indian leadership but India had to make the first move to request a meeting. Sharif, on his arrival, said, “cancellation of talks was New Delhi’s unilateral decision”; the “ball is now in India’s court for talks between both the countries”. Pakistan has also opposed plans for regional connectivity through power and railway links that were proposed by India.

The prospects of an India-Pakistan meeting coincided with polls in J&K, with the first phase witnessing an unprecedented high turnout.

Why ask me about talks, ask Modi instead: Sharif

Asked about the possibility of talks resuming between India and Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif said the question should be put to PM Narendra Modi instead. The two leaders may exchange pleasantries during their retreat planned for Thursday, but there will be no public interaction… see more

source: times of india