Modi in Lahore is part of Modi Diplomacy Narrative

OpinionModi in Lahore is part of Modi Diplomacy Narrative

Modi visit to Lahore – Part of Modi Diplomacy Narrative

Modi in Lahore


The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook his first ever official visit to Russia and reached Moscow to attend the 16th annual India-Russia Summit in Moscow on December 23, 2015.

Modi held a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and later at a joint press conference, the two leaders urged a peaceful South Asian region and national accord in Afghanistan.

In his address, Modi emphasized connectivity with Russia through North-South Corridor that can link India with Russia via Iran and Central Asia because civil war situation in Afghanistan is a big obstruction to connect India directly to Central Asia.

Both leaders were of the view that peace in Afghanistan is must for regional development and this peace can be brought through dialogue.

Later a day after, Modi reached Kabul for having an important discussion with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on issues related to Afghan peace, bilateral relations and regional security. The two leaders also led the delegation-level bilateral talks at Dilkosha Palace, the Afghan presidential office.

Modi also inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building that was constructed by India at a cost of US$ 90 million. He also addressed a session of both houses of Afghanistan’s Parliament in which he emphasized the importance of India-Afghanistan partnership and more efforts to bring stability and development in the war-torn country.

Prior to Modi’s visit, India delivered three Mi 25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan, in what is seen as a shift in its strategy towards the strife-torn country. The defence sources said that three such choppers have already been delivered to the Afghan government which will boost its capability against Taliban terrorists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long stay in Kabul was followed by his brief visit to Lahore which was surprising, unscheduled and even shocking for establishments of both the countries.

Soon after his arrival at the Lahore airport, Modi accompanied by his Pakistani Counterpart Muhammad Nawaz Sharif went to letter’s residence in Jati Umra near Raiwind via a helicopter.

The two leaders accompanied by their respective ministers including Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and high-ranking officials held a discussion in Jati Umra.

Modi wished Sharif a happy birthday (December 25 is birthday of Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif) and also congratulated him on the wedding of his granddaughter.

The Indian Foreign Office did not comment on this surprising landing of Modi plane at Lahore airport while Pakistan Foreign Office called the development as “positive”.

“It was a good visit. It has been decided that there will be more interaction, people to people contact to create an environment of goodwill,” said Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry after departure of Modi to New Delhi.

“Meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. All issues in composite dialogue to be taken up. Foreign Secretaries of both countries could meet in January in Islamabad,” he said.

However, the Indian opposition did not express happiness with such unplanned diplomatic development and called it “non-serious”.

“PM has a habit of grabbing headlines. They think this will help him get the tag of a statesman, said Congress leader Anand Sharma when he was asked to comment on Modi’s visit to Lahore.

“Diplomacy should be serious and mature. It’s not a joke. Not only for news. Nation’s interest should be kept first. PM has no vision. He gave conflicting views. His whole Lok Sabha campaign was to attack Pakistan. In 18-19 months, sometimes they talk, sometimes they don’t,” he said.

While Kashmir leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called the visit “positive”.

“Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan is a positive move, and people of Kashmir welcome any opportunity that brings India and Pakistan closer. Political will and vision needed on all sides to address issues specially Kashmir”, maintained Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

A former diplomat when asked to comment said” “Love him or hate him, you have to admire Narendra Modi’s style. Modi dropped a bomb when he said that he’d be dropping in on his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on December 25. More interestingly, it occurred on Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, which makes the earlier rhetoric from his ministers and ideological brethren seem even more hilarious. This was the first time Modi visited Pakistan and comes a few days after Sushma Swaraj visited India’s most fractious neighbour”.

Political circles in Pakistan believes that such “cordial relations” between the two leaders would not be welcomed by establishments of both the countries and PM Nawaz will face more dangers. It is believed that civil and military bureaucracy in Pakistan consider India as the biggest enemy though Pakistan faced extreme dangers from Afghan border in last 35 years.

Peace between Pakistan and India can change the entire face of South Asia but peace cannot be attained without resolving core issues between the two nations and Kashmir is the most important issue to be resolved.

This article is written by Agha Iqrar Haroon who works as Development Observer in South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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