Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will address a peacekeeping summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 28, the only event where their schedules overlap in the US.
Though officials said a “chance meeting” could not be ruled out, they remained tight-lipped about the possibility of a “detailed meeting” between Modi and Sharif who will both stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and address the peacekeeping summit co-chaired by US president Barack Obama.
“They could have some chit-chat or a chance encounter or shake hands and exchange a few thoughts. But in India-Pakistan ties nothing has happened unless it has happened,” a cautious senior official said.
Pakistan is insisting that India extend an invitation for a meeting of prime ministers. Though not quite happy with such posturing by Pakistan, citing India calling off a meeting of national security advisers last month, New Delhi hasn’t yet issued a public response.
The peacekeeping event will bring together the prime ministers of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the three largest troop-sending countries in reverse order at present.
Modi, who arrives in New York on September 23, will travel to the US west coast on September 26 and 27. He will be in New York again on September 28 before returning to India.
Sharif and Modi will address the UN sustainable development summit from September 25 to 27 but on different days.
Sharif will address the UN General Assembly on September 30, a day before India is represented at the gathering by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.