UNITED NATIONS: Amid a chill in bilateral relations, waving at each other was all that prime minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif did on Monday as they attended the UN peacekeeping summit.
Assembling for the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping being hosted by US president Barack Obama, Modi walked into the conference hall first. Sharif followed a few minutes later and waved at Modi. Modi waved back and smiled.
Then there was a pause, after which Modi waved again and Sharif acknowledged and smiled.
The two leaders, who are in New York for UN summits, came across each other for the first time on Monday.
At the conference, they were seated across the horse-shoe-shaped table.
Ahead of the UN meet, there were questions whether the two leaders will have a meeting or at least manage a handshake, particularly since they are staying in the same hotel.
Modi and Sharif had last met in Ufa, Russia, in July on the sidelines of the BRICS and SCO summits.
Indo-Pak ties are going through a chill particularly after last month’s cancellation of NSA-level talks following differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad, and a planned meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
The decision to hold meetings between the NSAs and the heads of border guards were taken during the Ufa talks.
Last week, Indian officials had said that Prime Minister Modi will not have a bilateral meeting with Sharif during his current visit to the US.
Modi and Sharif are staying in the same hotel in the city – the iconic Waldorf Astoria.