Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif when the two leaders arrive in the Russian city of Ufa on Wednesday to attend two summits of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) and Shanghai Cooperation organization (SCO) from July 8-10.
The PM’s confirmed Ufa itinerary currently only mentions his bilateral meetings with all BRICS leaders and presidents of Iran and Afghanistan, but Indian sources said there is a strong possibility of prime ministers of India and Pakistan “breaking the ice” in a meeting.
Both India and Pakistan are set to become full-members of SCO club of Russia, China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Uzbekistan. The external affairs ministry refused to confirm or deny the meeting despite repeated queries. Pakistan sources said India had requested for a meeting with Sharif and two governments find it acceptable to have an “interaction between the two prime ministers though it may not be in a structured format” on the sidelines of summits.
Modi is also likely to meet Chinese president Xi Jingping as well as Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Ufa, the host city of both SCO and BRICS summit could provide an opportunity for Modi is to push ahead his Central Asia connectivity as he is meeting Iran president Hassan Rouhani. Modi’s visit to Russia is interspersed between his visits to all five Central Asian countries.