Modi, Sharif Break Ice with Handshake in Himalayas

  • It took a Himalayan retreat at Dhulikhel, about 20 km from Kathmandu, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to break some ice after the foreign secretary-level talks debacle in August.
  • There was at least a semblance of a thaw as Modi shook hands with Sharif and exchanged greetings at a resort terrace overlooking a wide expanse of the Himalayas
  • Later the same was followed up with an even longer shaking of hands back in Kathmandu in the evening as the 18th Saarc summit ended “successfully“.
  • The two were cheered on by other Saarc leaders as they shook hands for nearly 40 seconds and posed for the cameras in the Nepal capital.
  • There was no substantive “one-on-one“ dialogue between the two leaders at any stage
  • The interaction and the long handshake towards the end was enough to spark hope, if not expectations, about a possible resumption of dialogue between the two countries after their ties seemed to have taken a debilitating blow in August.
  • Foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said: We want to have peaceful relations with Pakistan, a meaningul dialogue and if this interaction or handshake leads to it, we will welcome that.