Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Epic Handshake: Modi and Sharif

It was a picture that could have launched a thousand warships. Frozen in the cameras at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Kathmandu earlier this week were images of a visibly tense Nawaz Sharif striding to the lectern to speak, even as a grim-looking Narendra Modi read a magazine, apparently uninterested in what Pakistan was about to say. The image screamed a 'breakdown' - of the Saarc summit, the possibility of a meaningful declaration emerging from it, and an easing of tension in India-Pakistan relations.

Against this backdrop, much was made of the handshake between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan on the final day of the summit, causing the Kathmandu town hall, the venue of the meeting, to break into applause.

In reality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif shook hands and exchanged pleasantries several times before this 'historic' handshake - once minutes before this picture was taken, in the holding hall, where the summit meeting was taking place and they waited for their names to be called out (in alphabetical order).

Later, at a retreat in Dhulikhel, the two prime ministers even took a walk together and talked without aides for a considerable amount of time.

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18th SAARC Summit: Was it really a Flop Show?

The 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) concluded in Nepal's Capital Kathmandu with high expectation but less outcome. Though the three agenda namely energy, rail and road got more highlights in the 2014 summit held after three years but only energy agreement has been signed up after Pakistan, the second largest member country in SAARC opposed, citing of its internal issues which made the inter-connectivity between SAARC countries indefinite. -

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