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Modi and Sharif conversation freeze: No handshake, just a wave

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United Nations: Days of speculation ended with a wave across a table.

Would Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif meet? wondered pundits, diplomats and journalists. Or would they shake hands? Or have a ‘pullaside’ – a quick conversation on the sidelines?

They finally got their answer at Modi’s last UN event about four hours before he left on Monday. Modi and Sharif exchanged a couple of waves and smiles across the table at the Peacekeeping Summit convened by President Barack Obama. And that was it. Sharif waved first and Modi responded.

Modi and Sharif shared the same hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, but avoiding each other was easy. The hotel has several entrances and leaders’ entries and exits through driveways that lead right into the middle of the building are carefully orchestrated.

Some diplomatic gestures are carefully arranged. One of Modi’s diplomatic assignments listed for Monday included a ‘handshake/exchange of greeting’ with Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as Modi approaches his table. But the wave wasn’t.

When Modi and Sharif met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit Ufa in Russia in July, they opened the possibilities of a de-freeze in ties between the two countries. However, the deep freeze has returned with firing across the border and the cancellation of the talks between the National Security Advisers.

Now its time to decipher the nuances of the smiles and waves for clues to the next phase of diplomacy.

(By Arul Louis, IANS)

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PM Modi Receives A Letter From Pamela Anderson To Promote Vegan Food

Anderson in her letter praised India's cuisine that made it the 'easiest place on earth' to be vegan.

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Anderson is a vegan, an advocate for animal rights, and an active member of the animal protection organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Baywatch icon and former Bigg Boss guest star Pamela Anderson on Friday wrote a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to serve only vegan food at all government meetings and functions.

In this letter, she urges Modi to lead India’s fight against climate change by serving only delicious vegan (wholly plant-derived) food at all government meetings and functions. The animal rights group and the actor explained that raising animals for meat, eggs, and dairy causes nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions.

“With your country’s innovation and agricultural history, I’m sure that India-produced soy and other versatile foods can easily replace these damaging foods,” she writes. PETA Director urged Modi to adopt pro-vegan steps taken by other countries such as New Zealand, China and Germany.

“I appeal to you to show that India can equal or best them,” the 52-year-old actor added.

Modi  getting down from Air India Airplane.
Narendra Modi getting down from Air India Airplane.

Expressing concern over climate change she wrote, “My heart goes out to everyone affected by the severe air pollution plaguing Delhi. I worry about the residents as well as the animals who can’t wear face masks or stay indoors.”

She said that according to latest reports, 36 million Indians could face the threat of annual coastal flooding by 2050. The World Bank has predicted that at least 21 cities in India are approaching zero groundwater levels for next year and that 40 per cent of Indians may not have water to drink by 2030.

ALSO READ: Foodies Must Try These Dishes from the Streets of Kolkata

Anderson in her letter praised India’s cuisine that made it the ‘easiest place on earth’ to be vegan. “India is the easiest place to be vegan… I still remember the beautiful colour of saffron rice and the alluring aroma of veggie biryani. India’s foods are so fantastic and varied that it’s the easiest place on earth to be vegan”, she added.

Last month, she had written to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to serve nutritious vegan meals in correctional facilities. (IANS)