PM Sharif meets President Putin on sidelines of SCO summit

Addressing the 17th conference of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Kazakhstan's Astana city on Friday, President Ashraf Ghani called for joint efforts against terrorism and said those countries which differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists will pay the price for it.

India on 9 June 2017 became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ending the administrative procedures that started two years ago. "We will have to make coordinated efforts to counter the menace of terrorism", he said while adding that it was impossible to reach a solution till everybody made concerted efforts to control on radicalisation, terrorist recruitment, training and financing issues.

PM Modi's remarks assume significance as they came weeks after India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing where 29 world leaders participated.

In a rare snub to all-weather ally Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping skipped a customary meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the SCO summit in Astana after the murder of two Chinese teachers in Balochistan.

The Chinese leader also stated that his country offers to create a union of economic think tanks and Internet trade business associations.

Friday's ceremony, however, comes in the backdrop of India-Pakistan tension over cross-border terrorism and India's objection to China's Belt and Road Initiative which passes through territories that India claims. China usually defends Pakistan on the subject of terrorism even when India raises issues about its role in abetting terrorist attacks in India. Business and economic connect would be an important aspect of India's full membership of SCO.

When asked whether Modi and Sharif will have a bilateral meeting, External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay had earlier said, "Our position has not changed".

PM Sharif thanked the Russian President and said that he was honoured to meet him again after their meeting on the sidelines on SCO Summit 2015 in Ufa, Russia.

On Thursday, Nawaz Sharif met with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

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