SCO summit: After his successful visits to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending his first multilateral summit at the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO summit) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. On the sidelines of the event, the PM held three bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday, and discussed wide ranging issues of economic and strategic importance.
As per India Today, during the sidelines of the SCO summit, PM Modi and Xi Jinping discussed security tensions with Pakistan. PM Modi is believed to have appreciated China for finally designating Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. "There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. PM Modi recalled his efforts, which he said were derailed. PM Modi said that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terror and at this stage, we do not see this happening. We expect it to take concrete action," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said after the meeting between the two leaders. He said the major highlight was that Sino-India relations couldn't be looked through the prism of Pakistan. India also acknowledged improving the level of communication with China, which he said, had led to the addressing of some major issues like the opening of Bank of China branch in India, and the listing of Masood Azhar. Xi is also believed to have pushed for stronger ties between the two countries.
During PM Modi's meeting with Putin, both the leaders pushed for a strong strategic cooperation between India and Russia. Though there was no discussion on the controversial S-400 missile defence system deal with Russia, Modi thanked Putin for the "support for the rifle manufacturing unit in Amethi". In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy S-400 air defence system deal. The deal was signed despite the US threatening to impose sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia.
In his third meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit, Modi met the Afghan President, and the leaders discussed the security issue in Afghanistan and the role played by India in rebuilding the war-torn country. On the issue of terrorism in India, Ghani said India needed to tackle terrorism and drugs with the same force as "one is fueling the other". Ghani also raised concern over Pakistan's reluctance in tackling terrorism in Afghanistan. Emphasising the importance of cooperation between the neighbouring countries, PM Modi said India would extend all possible help in the rebuilding process in Afghanistan and will support its democratically elected government.
Edited by Manoj Sharma