Modi departs from Pakistan after brief surprise visit

Published: December 25, 2015
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PM Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi upon latter's arrival at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID

PM Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi upon latter's arrival at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan on Friday to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

It was the first time an Indian premier had stepped foot on Pakistani soil in more than 10 years and was seen by analysts as a step towards normalising ties between the two neighbours which have fought three wars.

State TV footage showed an Indian Air Force jumbo jet land in the late afternoon at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport where Nawaz — who celebrated his birthday the same day — had flown in by helicopter moments earlier.

Fence mending: Ice melts as Nawaz, Modi shake hands

PM Nawaz, flanked by the cabinet ministers, received Modi on the tarmac where military officers lined up along a red carpet.

Both leaders wore their national dresses and made their way to Sharif’s helicopter, which flew them to the prime minister’s residence in Raiwind.

Modi had earlier made the surprise announcement to visit Nawaz on Twitter as he wound up his visit to Afghanistan with an address to the Afghan parliament.

“Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi,” he said.

The last visit to Pakistan by an Indian prime minister was in 2004 by then leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is credited with bringing about a thaw in relations with Islamabad.

Modi and Nawaz have had a stop-start diplomatic relationship since the Indian premier’s surprise invitation to Nawaz to his inauguration last May.

A brief meeting between PM Nawaz and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN climate change summit in Paris on November 30, followed by talks between the two countries’ national security advisers in Bangkok, appeared to have broken the ice.

Imtiaz Gul, head of the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies, said: “It’s an extremely welcome move and it shows that the baby steps promised at the Paris summit between the two Prime Ministers have transformed into a much bigger step, which holds big promise for both countries.”

Earlier Friday, in his speech to the Afghan parliament, Modi urged closer cooperation between India, Pakistan and other neighbours for Afghanistan’s progress.

“We know that Afghanistan’s success will require the cooperation and support of each of its neighbours. And, all of us in the region — India, Pakistan, Iran and others — must unite … behind this common purpose,” Modi said.

Modi also made a veiled reference to Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the border; when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism are shut; and, their patrons are no longer in business,” Modi said.

India’s main opposition party, Congress, was quick to criticise Modi’s “irresponsible” decision.

In Pakistan, opposition senator Sherry Rehman said that while most Pakistanis backed better ties, parliament had not been consulted and it was unclear what concessions Islamabad was ready to make.

“It’s a small step because we don’t know what kind of sustainable progress is based around it. We don’t know if this is more than a grand gesture,” she told AFP.

The Indian prime minister made the surprise announcement as he wound up his visit to Afghanistan with an address to the Afghan parliament.

Modi arranged surprise Pakistan visit just hours before, says foreign secretary

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arranged his landmark visit to Pakistan, the first by an Indian leader in a decade, at the last minute on Friday, a Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said.

Modi phoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while on a visit to neighbouring Afghanistan and asked if he could make a stop in Pakistan on his way home, the foreign secretary told media after Modi departed.

“And the PM said to him, ‘Please come, you are our guest, please come and have tea with me’,” he said.

Modi touched by Nawaz’s hospitality

Hour after he made a surprise visit to Lahore, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he was touched by the PM Nawaz’s hospitality.

Modi said that he was touched by Nawaz humble attitude as the latter welcomed him at the airport upon his arrival and also went to see him off when he was departing for India.

Speaking about the meeting, the Indian premier further said that Nawaz held affection for the former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“He (Nawaz) recalled their interactions and asked me to convey his regards to Atal ji,” Modi tweeted.

Expressing his delight, Modi said that PM Nawaz’s birthday and his granddaughter marriage added more charm to the brief visit he paid at the prime minister’s residence.

Modi reaches airport to leave for India

Modi departs from Raiwind for Lahore airport

Modi gifts Indian dress to PM Nawaz’s granddaughter

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted an Indian dress to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter whose marriage ceremony is scheduled for later today, Express News reported.

Further, Modi also reportedly gifted Indian shawls to the prime minister’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq welcomes Modi’s visit

Modi arrives at PM Nawaz’s Raiwind residence

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart arrived at the former’s residence, Jati Umra, at Raiwind in Lahore, Express News reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Jati Umra in Raiwind on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Jati Umra in Raiwind on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: PID

PHOTO: PID

Bilawal Bhutto welcomes Modi

Modi heads to PM’s Raiwind residence

Modi and his 120-men entourage head to Jati Umra on a private helicopter, where the Indian premier is expected to meet PM Nawaz’s mother.

“Modi will also attend an event for Nawaz’s granddaughter’s wedding,” a source said.

Premier Nawaz hugs Modi

PM Nawaz receives Modi on the tarmac where military officials have been lined up along a red carpet. PM Nawaz hugged Modi upon his arrival. A spokesperson at the premier’s office told Reuters the two leaders will discuss a range of bilateral issues, including the issue of Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands at Lahore airport

Modi lands in Lahore where he will be met by PM Nawaz and other officials.

State TV footage showed the Indian Air Force jumbo jet land at the Allama Iqbal International Airport where Sharif had flown in by helicopter moments earlier.

A view of the flight path taken by Narendra Modi’s plane

A view of the flight path taken by Narendra Modi’s plane

An Express News screengrab

Indian high commissioner arrives in Lahore

Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan arrives at Lahore airport ahead of Modi’s arrival.

India names new envoy to Pakistan

Sajjan Jindal also in Lahore to ‘greet PM Nawaz on birthday’

Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal, the brother of former Congress MP Naveen Jindal, who reportedly arranged the secret meeting between Nawaz and Modi in Katmandu is also in Pakistan. “In Lahore to greet PM Nawaz Sharif on his birthday,” Jindal tweeted.

Nawaz, Modi had hour-long ‘secret’ meeting in Kathmandu: book

Renowned TV journalist Barkha Dutt in her debut book This Unquiet Land — Stories from India’s Fault Lines described Jindal as an informal messenger serving as a “covert bridge” between the two leaders.

Unknown to the media and certainly the public, both Modi and Sharif had found someone to “keep them connected even when things got difficult”, Dutt wrote in her book regarding Jindal.

Nawaz reaches Lahore airport to receive Modi

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore to receive his Indian counterpart, Express News reported.

Breakthrough at last

According to sources, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will assist PM Nawaz while Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will assist PM Modi during the meeting, which will discuss matters of mutual interest.

Details of Nawaz, Modi meeting being worked out: FO

“I can confirm that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving in Lahore,” Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told state television. “The details of the meeting are being worked out,” he added.

India’s Congress terms Modi’s Lahore visit ‘irresponsible’

India’s opposition Congress Party called Modi’s visit irresponsible and said that nothing had changed to warrant warming of ties between the nuclear-armed rivals that only in August cancelled scheduled high-level talks after ceasefire violations across the border.

Activists of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) burn a poster with an image of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest against Modi’s visit to Pakistan, in New Delhi on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

“If the decision is not preposterous then it is utterly ridiculous,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said.

An activist of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) burns a poster with an image of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a protest against Modi’s visit to Pakistan, in New Delhi on December 25, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

One should have such relations with the neighbours: Sushma Swaraj

Further, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also confirmed the meeting between the two leaders. “That’s like a statesman,” Swaraj said on Twitter. “One should have such relations with the neighbours,” she added.

India, Pakistan agree to resume comprehensive dialogue

However, Modi’s visit to Lahore is being censured by opposition political parties back in New Delhi. “Our foreign policy is going from the sublime to the ridiculous. You can’t do such things in such a cavalier manner…this is going to blow up in the PMs face,” India’s NDTV quoted former Congress union minister Manish Tewari as saying.

PM House confirms Modi’s visit

The Prime Minister House also confirmed the Indian premier’s surprise visit. The prime minister will personally receive his Indian counterpart at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, where Modi’s plane will land at 2:45 pm, the PM House spokesperson added.

Modi announces surprise visit to Pakistan

“Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi,” the Indian premier said on Twitter.

Modi also wished PM Nawaz on his birthday. “Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif & wished him on his birthday,” the Indian prime minister said in another Twitter message.

Modi accepts Nawaz’s invitation for first Pakistan visit

The last meeting between Modi and Nawaz took place in November on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the two premiers exchanged pleasantries and held a brief meeting.

A week later, Swaraj arrived in Islamabad to take part in the fifth ‘Heart of Asia ─ Istanbul process’ ministerial conference.

The Indian foreign minister held meetings with PM Nawaz and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. It was later announced that both the countries decided to restart a composite dialogue.

Earlier in July, PM Nawaz and Modi held a meeting in Ufa, Russia during which matters of mutual interest were discussed.

During the meeting, Nawaz reiterated his invitation to the Indian prime minsiter to visit South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Pakistan in 2016 which Modi gladly accepted.

Imran Khan invites Modi to visit Pakistan

India and Pakistan have been arch-rivals since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 and have fought three wars against each other.

Diplomacy between the two nuclear-armed countries worsened significantly in 2014 following the election of Hindu nationalist Modi as prime minister in India, with shelling across their border in Kashmir claiming dozens of lives.

However, hopes have rekindled after recent breakthrough developments in the shape of meetings between the top political leadership of the two countries and their subsequent pledge to resume a comprehensive dialogue process, increase trade and boost ties between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Pakistan-India normalisation: Top security aides spring Bangkok surprise

It is the first time in over a decade that an Indian premier is visiting Pakistan. Former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Islamabad in January 2004 to attend the Saarc summit in the federal capital.

The Indian prime minister Atal behari Vajpayee visited Pakistan in January 1999 on the ‘peace bus’ to Lahore for talks with Nawaz Sharif. Vajpayee also visited in January 2004 for talks with Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: mcomments.outlookindia.com

The Indian prime minister Atal behari Vajpayee visited Pakistan in January 1999 on the ‘peace bus’ to Lahore for talks with Nawaz Sharif. Vajpayee also visited in January 2004 for talks with Pervez Musharraf. PHOTO: mcomments.outlookindia.com

Vajpayee with former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf PHOTO: PTI

Modi inaugurates parliament building in Kabul

Earlier, opening the parliament building in Kabul, Modi pledged India’s support for the Afghan government and urged regional powers including Pakistan to work together to foster peace.

The building is the latest symbol of a longstanding diplomatic effort by New Delhi to cultivate its links to Afghanistan.

PM Modi inaugurates parliament building in Kabul

As well as the parliament building, India is also supplying three Russian-made Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan’s small air force, adding badly needed capacity to provide close air support to its hard-pressed security forces.

Without referring directly to Pakistan, India’s traditional rival in the region, Modi said that some had seen “sinister designs in our presence” in Afghanistan.

“India is here to contribute, not to compete; to lay the foundation of future, not light the flame of conflict,” he told lawmakers in Kabul, adding that Afghanistan could never “serve the designs of others”.

Modi said that regional support would be vital to bring peace and control terrorism. “We know that Afghanistan’s success will require the cooperation and support of each of its neighbours,” he said. “And all of us in the region – India, Pakistan, Iran and others – must unite in trust and cooperation behind the common purpose and in recognition of our common destiny.”

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Reader Comments (75)

  • Economist
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:14PM

    Where did that came from?
    Totally surprised.Recommend

  • Allah Hafiz
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:18PM

    Modi is shrewd..Chanankya neeti at his best…converted people fear will come true…Recommend

  • hari
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:20PM

    As you think you got the measure of this man he springs this sort of thing upon you! The Statesman. Pakistan should understand that this is probably the only man in about a century either side who is bold enough to take a definitive decision and should be ready for give and take.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:23PM

    Now Modi will not let our PM enjoy even during his birthday??Recommend

  • Talking Point
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:26PM

    With the tide turning in favour of Ind Pak dialogue , no time should be lost in govt to govt and people to people talks so that only these legit institutions are involved in foreign policy setting. Time for Pakistan and NS to show that army is only a service provider. Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:35PM

    @Iqbal:
    Maybe he has a birthday present for your PMRecommend

  • Bisma
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:49PM

    It’s a very suprising visit from ModiRecommend

  • hari
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:49PM

    Apt day too, the birth day of messenger of Peace Isa and that of the statesman Atal Bihari Vajpayee who tried his best to mend ties.Recommend

  • Toticalling
    Dec 25, 2015 - 1:51PM

    That is good news indeed. I doubt the meeting will be more than photo session, but will go a long way to improve relations. Hope army does nor spoil the occasions.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:00PM

    Modi to Sharif
    “Idhar se guzar raha tha, socha milta chalu”Recommend

  • Nahar
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:00PM

    This man know how to deal with it’s counterparts. Truly shocked!!Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:03PM

    Histry is repeating itsehf. First Vajpai came and now Modi is coming on his own desire. Who can say that foreighn policy of govt Pakistan is failed. Weldone PM nawaz SharifRecommend

  • Smiling Buddha
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:04PM

    Modi is full of great surprises, great initiatives …..hail ModiRecommend

  • Rahm
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:19PM

    Modi is a highly shrewd leader and bhola NS will be no match for him. Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2015 - 2:20PM

    i am surprised ,its a very good move, dialogue should prevail.Recommend

  • pakistani bloach
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:23PM

    We welcome bin bulaye mehman cause we have a big heart. We not like our neighbors who sign mou and then back off just cause pcb will earn few dollers. Now lets see why this desperate act? pakistan have successfully killed or pushed most of ttp terrorists from pakistani side and taliban are making a comeback in afghanistan.this is the only reason our enemies are running around like a headless chicken.
    Nawaz should not be going to receive him at aitport. Imagine Nawaz sharif dropping down to dehli without infroming indians,? Will modi rush to receive him? we need to keep our distance especially when we are on driving seat. Weclome to pakistan anyway.Recommend

  • Raisani
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:32PM

    Seems like Jai n Veeru’s friendship! Recommend

  • salman
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:41PM

    Both sides knows it in advance just don’t want the situation to be messed up by the media – Indian media in particular. Intense background diplomacy going on between both the countries. Sushmita visiting Pak, imran khan meeting Modi in Dehli and now Modi in Lahore. So it shouldn’t b that surprising. Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:44PM

    The Indian intentions should not be measured by such superficial gestures. Though we should welcome this Modi’s move, but one has to keep in mind that Nawaz Sharif has repeatedly faced humiliating treatment of Modi — no need to tell, at the cost of national dignity — in order to make this u-turn possible. Also, failure of Modi’s policy of intimidating Pakistan may have played some role in this shift. But, remember, his real intentions can be judged no better than from his single decision of not playing cricket with Pakistan. If he is not willing to give Pakistan her rightful benefit of few millions in which India has nothing to lose, then one should not expect him give anything in which India has to let go something. Pakistan’s first priority should be guarding its national interests, and should not give India any undue or unnecessary benefits without receiving anything reciprocal in return. Recommend

  • Arsha
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:50PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    And u think Nawaz sharif was not aware beforehand when Modi announced this trip? What world do you live in?Recommend

  • Disgusting
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:53PM

    @hari:
    His full name is Nirender Modi Chanakya.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:56PM

    @Rahm:
    You are wrong Bibi. This is Brutus vs Chanakya.Recommend

  • Bharatiya American
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:15PM

    Good gesture Modiji..Even though there are so many complex issues to deal with, one of the less complex and mutually beneficial issue is for Pakistan to give access to Afghanistan to trade with India…By Pakistan showing leadership in this area will help build mutual trust with Afghanistan and India and also help Afghanistan to stand again economically..This will also raise Pakistan’s standing in the world..I hope Modiji and Nawaz Sharifji can produce some progress in this low hanging fruit. B’day wishes to Nawaz Sharifji and merry Christmas and good wishes for Eid Miladun Nabi to all.Recommend

  • sridhar
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:25PM

    Since when did congress goons like Manish Tiwari become statesmen. Now Congress is saying Modi is irresponsible while its clowns like Mani Iyer were critical of BJP not talking to Pakistan.
    Congress is full of it.Recommend

  • Ali Baig
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:33PM

    It is really a good news indeed. The meeting should not be more than photo session, it may a long way to improve bilateral relations. I hope army will also support this upcoming occasion
    .Recommend

  • ahmed
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:33PM

    somethings funny with #modi sahab’s dropping in Pakistan just to wish.

    I remember a month earlier Pakistan and India were on the verge of a war.Recommend

  • swamy
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:42PM

    Nothing happens with cynicism. Forget how, why or who. Modi is very good at breaking protocols and winning friends. Not for nothing Obama, or Camaroon are his personal friends.. so much that they come to indian republic day.Now Modi has started using his charm on Nawaz Sherif, I am confident Pakistan hailing Modi when he comes there in September for Saarc. Recommend

  • Human
    Dec 25, 2015 - 3:45PM

    On the one hand, no cricket, border attacks- on the other, this.
    Anyways Pakistan’s key role in the region is being recognized.
    If India is serious this time, it would benefit both parties. India needs to rein in their extremists parties and show some flexibility on Kashmir.
    We are the best hosts, that Mr Modi would find out today. Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Dec 25, 2015 - 4:19PM

    I really pity for Congress, they have been left speechless!! Welcome Modiji to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Dec 25, 2015 - 4:23PM

    Modi will come by his wish but leave when we wish.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Dec 25, 2015 - 4:52PM

    @Human:
    “some flexibility on Kashmir”
    POK discussion only Recommend

  • Islamic Thekedar
    Dec 25, 2015 - 4:53PM

    @Iqbal:
    “Modi will come by his wish but leave when we wish.”
    I seriously doubt your claim practically, otherwise this is a bollywood movie dialogue.Recommend

  • Point
    Dec 25, 2015 - 4:58PM

    Punjabi mehndi ceremony ki roti kon miss karey ;) Thank you Modi for making our day by visiting to PakistanRecommend

  • BlackHat
    Dec 25, 2015 - 5:43PM

    I don’t buy that this is a chance or courtesy meeting. There has to be some sort of a deal for Modi to “drop in” on a birthday. I expect, at the least, that there will be an announcement of ceasefire along the LOC.

    Truly astounding though happily very welcome. Keeping fingers crossed.Recommend

  • Paa ji
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:00PM

    He is not here on his own. He was invited. The credit should go to Nawaz Sharif for not giving up. Sending Sari to Modi’s mom, sending crates of mangoes and invitation. The man never gives up. This is called relentless effort.Recommend

  • Proust
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:09PM

    Surprise surprise! Welcome Mr. PM Modi, most welcome. What is he upto now?Recommend

  • Kalim Marwat
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:26PM

    Encouraging & appreciating for both the countries….. We hope that our PM prime priority will focused on the best interest of the country rather then steel business.. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:35PM

    I’m not sure what changed in India but suddenly their leadership appears to have matured. If India can continue this positive leadership, they can really become a major international player and carry the entire region to prosperity.

    I’m hoping Modi sees that also and he won’t go back to “kantay se kanta” strategy, that just doesn’t sound right coming from a leader of a nuclear armed nation.Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2015 - 6:36PM

    this is a great step to peace and we need must to spread peace and love between two countriesRecommend

  • Bewildered
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:42PM

    “Nawaz, Modi hold talks at PM’s Jati Umra residence in Raiwind”

    So, basically its a personal visit for facilitating personal businesses. It has nothing to do with the business of the State, unless you consider your business is the business of the State.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 25, 2015 - 6:45PM

    Now there should be no doubt that Mian Sahib is a great statesman.Recommend

  • Wajahat Afaq
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:04PM

    PM Modi arrives first time in Pakistan to wish PM Nawaz on his birthday!!!

    Modi is enemy and he has no concerns what is going on in Pakistan, but in this whole federal cabinet and in military leadership no one is aware that today is the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, they should have made their presence possible today on mausoleum of father of Nation, Nawaz Sharif is a biased man, he thinks Pakistan is only exist in Punjab, The saddest dilemma..!!Recommend

  • Pakistani Sindhi
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:05PM

    Shame that even our neighboring leader was hosted at Lahore (Punjab) instead of Islamabad (the symbol of federation). Proves the fact that like all the rest of relations being cemented by Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, this too has everything to do with Punjab and India. The rest of provinces are just in name only.

    We Sindhis and Balochis are dubbed as ‘agents of RAW’ but the facts are telling the very different thing. Recommend

  • Pakistani Sindhi
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:15PM

    Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal,
    the brother of former Congress MP
    Naveen Jindal, who reportedly arranged
    the secret meeting between Nawaz and
    Modi in Katmandu is also in Pakistan.
    “In Lahore to greet PM Nawaz Sharif on
    his birthday,” Jindal tweeted.

    This meeting was just a business deal between business people of India and Sharif brothers of Punjab. Recommend

  • Sampath
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:16PM

    Congrats to Nawaz Sharif sahab for showing statesmanship during the last year.
    Congrats to Modiji too for having worked out ways of restarting dialogue starting with
    the NSAs. No Pakistani need worry about the Indian opposition parties like Congress
    burning Modi effigy etc. They are not going to be able to stop Modi in this diplomacy
    effort.
    I hope our Indian muslims also support Modi along so we can all (Indians and Pakistanis)
    grow our economies and pull our people out of severe poverty. Our Indian muslims hold
    the key. I pray that BJP leaders will show some wisdom and reach out instead of
    encouraging some nut case leaders in their midst.Recommend

  • Pakistani Sindhi
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:31PM

    I hope, after landing of Indian Prime Minister Modi in Lahore (Punjab), the people from Punjab will now put an end to calling people from Sindh and Balochistan as agents of Indian RAW agency. Recommend

  • Sjd
    Dec 25, 2015 - 7:45PM

    Its better to be a meeting between two countries, not a business deal, or personal interests.
    Looking for the bilateral dialoiges between two counties, and their results.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 25, 2015 - 8:11PM

    @Pakistani Sindhi: This open meeting is a slap on the face of those who lied about secret meeting. Lions don’t play hide and seek. Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2015 - 8:30PM

    This is quite cheery surprise for Pakistan. We have been trying very hard to normalise relations and this has come as a small bonus. Anyway, let’s hope the KSE bombs on Monday. SalamisRecommend

  • Sangi
    Dec 25, 2015 - 8:31PM

    Anti détente forces and rhetoric in both countries notwithstanding, these two countries MUST work together, for the benefit of their peoples.Recommend

  • Apoorv Swarup
    Dec 25, 2015 - 8:51PM

    So breakfast in Kabul, tea at Lahore and dinner in New Delhi, all in a days work for Mr. Modi!Recommend

  • Eric Kumar
    Dec 25, 2015 - 9:21PM

    This is Christmas gift to all humanity. When Jesus Christ was born angels came to poor shepherds and said ” GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE TO MEN ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS” Modi visit to Pakistan on this Christmas day is great gesture on part of both the leadors to meet each other and bring message of peace on this Christmas day. I dream of the day when both countries will have a border where people of each nation will freely move to each country without any passport or visa.” Merry Christmas to all our brothers and sisters to both nations”.Recommend

  • hnr
    Dec 25, 2015 - 9:31PM

    @Bewildered:
    Every little gesture helps to thaw the frozen relationship.Let us not look at this as superficial and let us hope it will deepen and help both nations to improve not only the relationship but the welfare of the people which is far more important.Both nations are wasting and fritter away their meager resources on armaments and defence deals.Recommend

  • M Jamal Uddin
    Dec 25, 2015 - 9:34PM

    Choreography of the events speaks for itself.Indeed both but actually “all” are in the camp of “the policeman of the world” and it is actually its stick which is driving “everybody” to move forward as the policeman wishes to be.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 25, 2015 - 9:44PM

    Nawaz sharif should go and talk to PPP and mqm first instead of meeting foreigners for no reason!Recommend

  • Sane Khan
    Dec 25, 2015 - 9:48PM

    Welcome Modiji!
    You and all the Indians are always welcome in Pakistan for a visit, and hope you appreciate our hospitality.
    Moves like this are a big step in normalizing relations between neighbours.
    Neighbours are like your extended family. It is not by choice but are born into it, and should behave and live like neighbours.
    Good luck to prople of India, Pakistan and the entire world for a peaceful future.Recommend

  • Ghulam Hussain
    Dec 25, 2015 - 10:02PM

    He should have landed at Islamabad and met prime minster thereRecommend

  • Raj - USA
    Dec 25, 2015 - 10:07PM

    Every visiting dignitary from other countries follow the ritual of meeting with General Sharif whenever they meet PM Sharif. US, UK, Germany, Russia, China, Saudis, Arabs and Turks, and even Afghanistan, they all do the same. India is the only exception. Indian leaders and dignitaries visiting Pakistan never meet Pakistan’s army generals when they have a civilian government in power. Sushma Swaraj did not meet Raheel Sharif and Modi also did not meet the Army Chief of Pakistan. India is the only country that knows to put Pakistan’s generals in their place. All others, including USA, should learn from India.

    Both Modi and Nawaz Sharif are the real statesmen. Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Dec 25, 2015 - 10:24PM

    @Pakistani Sindhi: Cynical though you are, even a business meeting is not a bad thing at all if that brings peace to the subcontinent. In fact, business and trade relations generate employment, increase the standard of living and work towards development. Such an immature comment. Grow up!Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Dec 25, 2015 - 11:27PM

    Bravo to PM Modi for returning favor to the Brave PM Sharif.
    It was brave of Nawaz Sharif when he had decided to visit PM Modi’s inauguration last year, going against the wishes of establishment and right wing fundoos commentators as on this news site.
    PM Sharif received lot of criticism from the unshaven lots. Now he stands vindicated. Bravo to Nawaz Sharif. Recommend

  • Vijay K
    Dec 25, 2015 - 11:50PM

    It is paramount that India should support a civilian govt in Pakistan. All wars between India and Pakistan were fought when a Military govt was in power in Pakistan.Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Dec 26, 2015 - 12:23AM

    @Raj – USA: what is the possibility of it being more than one Sharif during the 70 minute one-on-one? Though improbable! May be that would have been more productive.Recommend

  • MSH
    Dec 26, 2015 - 12:38AM

    Not Surprised at all……..Indian Steel Magnat Jandal and his wife was already in Rai Wind…..
    After Saudi Arabia another Steel Mill…….Recommend

  • msh
    Dec 26, 2015 - 12:42AM

    Will Khursheed Shah will speak or remain shut to save sham democracy.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Dec 26, 2015 - 12:56AM

    That was a gesture by Modi that had ‘ statesmanship ‘ written all over….and Nawaz responded with dignity.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Dec 26, 2015 - 1:59AM

    It was pleasant surprise for Pakistani counterpart. Instead of taking him to Governor House Nawaz Shareef took him to ‘JA TEE UMR A” to tell him he got much more what he had left in India. Modi Sahib you left Lahore but don’t have even a smaller houseRecommend

  • Zahid
    Dec 26, 2015 - 4:22AM

    We sincerely welcome PM Modi visited Pakistan It’s a good gesture hope for the good future for Kashmir talksRecommend

  • IndianDude
    Dec 26, 2015 - 6:37AM

    Suddenly there has been a lot of movements on India Pakistan talk, simultaneously, no talk from or about charitable mr. haaffiz sayyad of dawa fame! I think somebody has been forced to depart to heavenly abode from Pakistan.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Dec 26, 2015 - 6:56AM

    @Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq welcomes Modi’s visit..tweet…
    Hurriayat guys, please Hurry up and leave the rest of us earthlings alone, both Pakistanis and Indians. Since 1947, 400+ Muslims of India, Pakistan and close to a billions of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis etc. have sacrificed/suffered their economic and physical well being, for a million of you namak haaaraaamis.
    It is about time the Majority of Pakistanis and Indians start thinking about what is good for them now and their future generation. NO MORE wasting of resources on hurriayatis jokers! The Hurriayatis will have to learn to leave within their respective borders under majority Pakistani and Indina rules, or be sidelined completely. Recommend

  • Ih
    Dec 26, 2015 - 7:00AM

    Hopefully it will lead to cooling of tensions between two countries. Wonder if NS learned from past and took military leadership in confidence. Absence of Nsc advisor is not a good omen. Hopefully he will brief parliament and military leadership. Recommend

  • Sid
    Dec 26, 2015 - 9:25AM

    Congress is the true villain between India and Pakistan. They play secular but truly all riots including Attacks on Sikh, Godhra and Babri Masjid happened in their tenure. Was it difficult for congress to send Army and stop Babri incident from happening in 92 ? Either they were absolutely incompetent or they let it happen for political gains.
    Even now when two leaders are showing signs of engagement Congress is going crazy with the progress and hence rioting around to stop this progress. Vajpayee (BJP) started the peace process and Congress killed it. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Dec 26, 2015 - 10:11AM

    Full respect and protocol was not afforded to Modi — His plane should have been escorted by a squadron of PAF JF-17 Thunderbabes all the way to Delhi in true VVIP fashion.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Dec 26, 2015 - 1:42PM

    From the state of complicity in the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat – for which he was refused US visa before assuming power as India’s Prime Minister – as well as threats and abuse hurled at Pakistan, his boast of his country breaking up Pakistan, and his commanders’ escalation of tensions along the line of control, this all-smiling and friendly Narendra Modi is a most welcome change.

    Actually, things started improving a bit earlier when, in contrast to India’s cancellation of scheduled talks earlier on between the two countries, India showed a change of style, if not that of heart, by issuing positive statements and India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj actually visited Pakistan for official talks.

    However, at this stage it is still too early to determine whether there is a real change of heart on the part of Modi or just a diplomatic move, to counter the massive opposition, both at local and international levels, to his excessively aggressive posture towards Pakistan and Muslims. Or perhaps there may also be realization on the part of Modi that the road-transit route that he wants from India to Afghanistan, through Pakistan, as well as other concessions, can be gained only by appearing friendly rather than aggressive.

    Let us hope, even if it proves to be no more than pure optimism, that the relations of the two countries are genuinely on the mend. There is really no reason for India and Pakistan, both poor countries, to waste their scarce resources by over-spending on preparations for wars while their citizens remain deprived even of the basic necessities.

    Apart from a small minority in both countries which displays aggression towards each other, the vast majority of people on both sides of the border seem to have plenty of goodwill for each other. With the leadership of the two countries demonstrating good sense, it should not be too difficult to enable the two countries and the two peoples to live in peace as decent, friendly neighbours.

    No doubt there are problems between the two countries, but given a bit of goodwill, good sense, and with a bit of give-and-take, it should not be too difficult to solve them.

    Let us hope good sense prevails.

    KarachiRecommend

  • Milind
    Dec 26, 2015 - 1:46PM

    Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif is a decent & pragmatic person, a potential statesman… something Pakistan (and the Muslim world) badly needs. It was a nice gesture on part of Modiji to visit Pakistan under Nawaz Sharif.. Broadminded & pragmatic leaders in the Muslim world, like Sharif need to be supported whole-heartedly by the non-Muslim world, in order to defeat the toxic ideologies of the Saudis & ISIS responsible for conflicts between Muslims & non-Muslim world.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 27, 2015 - 2:32AM

    @Pakistani:
    Two great statesmen meet to try and ease the tensions between their respective countries that has cost so much blood and misery for far too long, but evidently they should have consulted @pakistani first! LOL!Recommend

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