Ufa (Russia): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive here tomorrow on a three-day visit to attend the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits, on the sidelines of which he is likely to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At the SCO Summit, India is expected to be accorded full membership of the six-nation grouping of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
India has till now only an Observer status in the grouping whose focus is on boosting connectivity, counter-terrorism cooperation, bolstering cooperation in energy sector, enhancing trade and dealing with drug trafficking.
The summit of five-nation BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will see discussions on enhancing cooperation in the economic area. With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the summit could also look at the possibility of starting credit facility in local currency.
The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker K V Kamath. Besides Modi and Xi, the BRICS Summit is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma.
“I expect positive outcomes in economic cooperation and cultural ties among the BRICS nations,” Modi had said in a statement prior to his departure from Delhi yesterday. “The (BRICS) Summit last year was productive and I am sure we will build on the ground covered during the last Summit,” he had said.
He had also said that he will be meeting the leaders of BRICS nations individually and will be a part of the various interactions of BRICS leaders with captains of industry and leaders of other invited countries.
“India attaches high importance to BRICS. It is a great forum that can contribute effectively to mitigate global challenges. BRICS also has a very crucial role to play in furthering world peace and security and ensuring we leave behind a better planet for our future generations,” the Prime Minister had said.
On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, Modi and Sharif are expected to have a meeting to discuss the bilateral relations. The two countries have recently made goodwill gestures by releasing fishermen on the occasion of the ongoing Ramzan.
Prior to the release, Modi called up Sharif on June 16 to convey India's decision to free the detained Pakistani fishermen on the “pious” occasion of Ramzan. He also extended best wishes to Pakistan Prime Minister on the occasion of Ramzan while stressing the need for having “peaceful” and “friendly” bilateral ties, which have been recently hit by a war of words between the two countries. India released 88 Pakistani fishermen while Pakistan freed 111 Indian fishermen.
Pakistan and India have been involved in a war of words recently with leaders from both sides exchanging sharp comments after Modi's critical remarks about Pakistan during his Dhaka visit and in the wake of India's military action in Myanmar.
Modi is also expected to meet Xi and discuss the bilateral ties, amid India's unhappiness over Beijing constructing an economic corridor to Pakistan.
India has raised objections to the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Part of the 3,000-km economic corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar port with Kashgar in China's north-western autonomous region of Xinjiang will pass through the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
India has also expressed concerns over China's recent move to block action against Pakistan in the UN over release of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi. Modi, who is also visiting five Central Asian countries, will travel here from Kazakhstan.