EAM Jaishankar means ‘business’ at SCO meet: A firm namaste with Bilawal Bhutto shows who’s in charge

EAM Jaishankar means ‘business’ at SCO meet: A firm namaste with Bilawal Bhutto shows who’s in charge

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari before the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Goa.
(Credit: PTI Photo)

Bilawal Bhutto was greeted with a plain namaste and no words from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, even though the latter warmly welcomed his Russian and Chinese counterparts at the SCO meeting in Goa.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto had an awkward encounter on Friday as the latter arrived to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa.

While Jaishankar was seen welcoming his Chinese and Russian counterparts with a ‘namaste’ and smile before indulging in a short chat and posing for pictures, Bhutto was greeted with just a namaste and a poker face by the Indian minister.

The duo did not seem to talk much even a small talk.

Videos of their encounter reflected the tension between India and Pakistan’s relations in the wake of the Poonch terror attack which claimed the lives of five Indian Army jawans. The terrorists that attacked the jawans’ vehicles belonged to terror outfits from across the Line of Control.

Jaishankar has earlier hinted that there will be no bilateral talks with Pakistan at the event, even though Bhutto said before his arrival in India that he is looking forward to holding bilateral talks with the participating nations.

India has over time taken a tough stance on Pakistan-sponsored terror activities and reiterated that no dialogue is possible unless Islamabad acts against the terror network being operated on its land.

Speaking at the meeting later, the external affairs minister said terrorism is a “menace” and no act of terror can be justified while urging the members to stop it in all its forms, including cross-border terrorism, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an Eurasian political, economic and defence summit. The group currently comprises eight nations – India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.


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