PM Modi meets Nawaz Sharif at his ancestral home near Lahore, holds one-on-one talks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Lahore on Friday.

Updated: Dec 25, 2015, 21:24 PM IST
PM Modi meets Nawaz Sharif at his ancestral home near Lahore, holds one-on-one talks
Pic courtesy: TV grab

Lahore: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed here on Friday evening for an unscheduled meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif who received him warmly.

Sharif presented a bouquet to Modi as he flew into the Allama Iqbal International Airport from Kabul heading a 120-member delegation, Pakistan Television reported.

It is PM Modi`s first visit to Pakistan, and the first trip by an Indian prime minister to the country in 11 years.

PM Modi landed here today evening on an unscheduled trip from Kabul to New Delhi to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, the media reported.

PM Modi was received by Sharif with a warm hug at the tarmac of Allama Iqbal International Airport after his unexpected stopover here on his way back home after a day-long trip today to Afghanistan where he went after concluding a two-day visit to Russia yesterday.

Narendra Modi was accorded a red carpet welcome as PM's special IAF Boeing 737 plane made a smooth touchdown at 4.20 local time(4.50 IST). He then took a chopper to proceed to Sharif's Raiwind palatial residence in the outskirts of Lahore where the two held one-on-one talks. The palatial home was decorated with fairy lights for the wedding of the Pakistani PM's granddaughter.

For their "chai pe charcha", the menu was vegetables, kheer and Kashmiri tea, said reports. Later, PM Modi held talks with Nawaz Sharif during which they decided to open ways for peace for the "larger good" of the people of the two countries.

After pleasantries, PM Modi pushed to Lahore airport again from where he left for India. Modi's 150-minute visit to Pakistan was first by an Indian Prime Minsiter in nearly 12 years.

Notably, Sharif shares his birthday with Vajpayee. Interestingly, today is also the birthday of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The last visit to Pakistan by an Indian PM was in 2004 by then leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Coincidentally, today is Vajpayee's birthday.

Modi, who reached Kabul early in the morning from Moscow, tweeted and took everyone by surprise when he announced that he would visit meet Sharif everyone that he spoke to Sharif over telephone and greeted him on his birthday.

The security at the Lahore airport and surrounding areas were tightened.

Meanwhile, a PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which took place today at the Sharif's Raiwind palatial residence.

Modi's critics may have disliked the idea, but External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was all praise for the PM.

 

The relations between India and Pakistan have witnessed some positive developments after several months' of chill. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after Modi and Sharif met in Paris.

 

Earlier in the day, Modi launched a veiled attack against Pakistan, saying Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the border and when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism are shut.

 

Declaring that India is in Afghanistan to contribute not to compete, to lay the foundations of future and not light the flame of conflict, Modi also said terror and violence cannot be the instrument to shape the future of the strife-torn country or dictate the choices its people make.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Afghan Parliament here after inaugurating its swanky new building that was built by India at a cost of 90 million USD in the presence of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.