Xi snubs Sharif in Astana over China duo's killing in Pakistan

Be it the matter of radicalisation, recruitment, training or financing of terrorists. According to reports, the meeting had taken place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

PM Modi spoke on the need for enhancing connectivity in the region, adding it was key to boosting trade and investment. "The aim is to combine the potentials of the Eurasian Economic Community, SCO, Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] and the Chinese initiative One Belt, One Road", Putin said. "We will stand by Afghanistan and will work with Afghanistan in this respect", said Putin.

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.

This is the first such meeting between the leaders after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held last which in Beijing and was attended by at least 29 countries including Pakistan.

Talking of climate change, the PM said, "SCO can devote attention towards climate change".

Modi also thanked other members of SCO for supporting India's membership to the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. This happened after India and Pakistan made a decision to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Islamabad earlier that month.

Both India and Pakistan have joined SCO, a security bloc spearheaded by China and Russian Federation.

Speaking after Modi, Nawaz Sharif also congratulated India on joining SCO and said that the organisation gives a shared platform to fight terrorism.

Addressing the SCO's heads of council meeting on Friday, he said "I am thankful to member countries for giving Pakistan permanent membership to the body".

Vanessa Coleman

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