India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif.Reuters file

With the 2014 SAARC Summit all set to gather momentum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the Dhulikhel retreat — about 30 kilometres away from Kathmandu on Tuesday, reports Indian Express.

According to sources, the two leaders are likely to meet some time later in the day after Modi's arrival for the summit.

It will be the first meeting between Modi and Sharif since the latter attended the Indian PM's swearing-in ceremony in May.

The two countries have not been on the best of terms after India cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks over Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with Hurriyat leaders.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj dodged the question about the possibility of a meeting between Modi and Sharif on the margins of the SAARC Summit, saying "Wait till tomorrow."

The retreat is expected to generate an informal setting for meetings between leaders. Earlier, Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said SAARC leaders could "facilitate" a meeting between the Indian and Pakistan PMs during the retreat sessions.

Replying to a question on bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, Sharif's advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, said, "Well, I think one or two are fixed. The rest are not yet fixed."

On the possibility of a Modi-Sharif meeting, he said, "No plans yet." When pressed further, Aziz said, "If the initiative (for the meeting) comes from the other side."

Asked about a meeting with Swaraj, Aziz said, "Well if she requests, I will." Replying to a question on whether the summit would be overshadowed by Indio-Pak affairs, Aziz said, "I hope not. The SAARC is more important."

Meanwhile, Modi is likely to flag off the Kathmandu-Delhi bus service, gift a chopper to the Nepal Army, inaugurate a trauma centre built with Indian aid, and witness the signing of a power agreement for a 900 MW project.

Also read