In surprise visit, Indian PM Modi briefly stops in Pakistan

Dec 26, 2015
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Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan have welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan.

The Washington Post said PM Modi has “pressed the reset button on the blow-hot-blow-cold relationship” between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, paving the way for official dialogue to resume next month.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands during the closing session of the 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Katmandu, Nepal, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014.

It was a telephone call from Modi from Kabul greeting Sharif on his birthday which triggered the dramatic journey – his first to Pakistan and the first by any Indian prime minister in 11 years.

The reports further said the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India may “prefer” to meet at a neutral venue instead of any of the two countries “to avoid any disturbance and keep it all secret”.

He was accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

He added he had always been encouraging both leaders of the two countries to engage in dialogue.

While Indian media suggested Modi was the driving force behind the visit, a Pakistan official told AFP it was Islamabad’s idea to arrange a meeting ahead of formal diplomatic talks set for January.

Here are some amusing twitter reactions after the Prime Minister announced his move to halt in Pakistan.

Nalin Kohli, a spokesman for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, said in New Delhi that India was ready to take two steps forward if Pakistan took one to improve ties. Pakistan scrapped formal talks with India in August, saying its neighbor’s conditions that keep Kashmir off the agenda are a hurdle.

Zee news reported that Modi was warmly welcomed by Sharif’s family and that Modi touched the feet of the prime minister’s mother, a huge sign of respect.

Their meeting will come after several meets were held between the two countries in the last month alone. The Indian premier inaugurated the Parliament house in Kabul on Friday morning.

India’s Modi arrives in Pakistan on first visit as premier

 

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