Modi in Lahore: Indian Prime Minister to hold talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
New Delhi, (25 December, 2015): This is a stunning move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He announced during his Kabul visit that he will make a stopover at Lahore, Pakistan and hold talks with Pakistani Prime Nawaz Sharif.
The two nations have held many high level talks following Prime Minister Narendra Modiâ€™s taking over power in New Delhi, nonetheless low level talks have floundered. The two nations have seen their bilateral relations touch the nadir in the last two years or so.
The bilateral business contacts have become almost non-existent as the officials on both the sides of the border continue their high-pitched rhetoric.
In the meantime Modi surprised almost everyone earlier today when he tweeted that he would “drop by” Lahore on his way back to Delhi and meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned 66 today. The decision, say sources, was a “spontaneous” one taken this morning.
Prime Minister Modi in a tweet on micro blogging site Twitter said, â€œLooking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhiâ€. Pakistani media reports suggested that Nawaz Sharif will receive Mr Modi at the airport where they will have lunch. Sources say PM Modi decided to go after his phone-call to Mr Sharif to wish him on his birthday. This will be his first visit to Pakistan since taking office last year and the first visit by an Indian prime minister in 12 years.
Earlier Prime Minister was involved in high-pitched diplomacy in Afghanistan. Not long before the tweet, PM Modi had, addressing a joint session of the Afghan Parliament, appeared to send a strong message to Pakistan, without naming the country. “There are some who did not want us to be here. There were those who saw sinister design in our presence here… But we are here because you had faith in us,” he had said. The casual announcement of the Prime Minister’s Lahore stopover belies the significance of the gesture after a long period of cold vibes between the two nations.