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No bilateral meeting has been planned between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishek next week (June 13-14), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said today (Thursday, June 6).

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters that “to the best of my knowledge, there is no bilateral meeting being planned between our Prime Minister and the Pakistan Prime Minister”.

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Asked if there was any likelihood of India holding bilateral talks with Pakistan after the SCO Summit, Kumar reiterated his statement that no talks have been planned in the near future.

India has not held official talks with Pakistan since early 2016 following a terror attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in January that year, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.

PM Modi is attending the annual summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on June 13-14. Khan is also scheduled to participate in the annual meet of the China-dominated grouping.

In their first conversation since the NDA government was re-elected for a second term, Khan called Modi on May 26 and said that he looked forward to advancing his vision for “peace, progress and prosperity”. In response, Modi said that “creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism were essential” for cooperation in fostering “peace, progress and prosperity” in the region.

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This was the first conversation between the two after the Pulwama attack, which was followed by the Balakot air strikes and Pakistan’s retaliation.

On May 23, Khan congratulated Modi on his electoral triumph. “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” he tweeted in English and Urdu.

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