Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dropped a surprise to the nation with his undeclared visit to Lahore to meet and wish his counterpart Nawas Sharif on his birthday. He has reached Lahore after visiting Moscow and Kabul. The meeting that lasted for about two and half hours were held at Mr. Sharif’s ancestral home in the eastern province of Punjab. Mr. Modi’s surprise visit is the one undertaken by an Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan after twelve years.
The meeting between the two premiers also included discussions on the different ways to open ways for peace for the larger good of the people of the two countries. It is said that the visit happened after Mr. Modi gave Mr. Sharif birthday wishes over telephone from Kabul, and a few in both India and Pakistan knew about the programme. The meeting is a follow up of NSA level and Externel Ministers level talks between the two countries.
The Indian PM and his team were welcomed by Mr. Sharif and his brother and Punjan Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. “PM of Pakistan welcomed initiative of the Indian PM to visit Lahore,” Pak Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhary said.
Meanwhile back home, the visit was welcomed by various parties including those in the Kashmir Valley, NCP and CPI. Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed it “a positive move”. Former chief minister and working president of the National Conference,Omar Abdullah tweeted: “The re-engagement with Pakistan is a good step and a very welcome development.” However the Congress accused that the PM is playing with diplomacy.