After Modi made a surprise stopover here on his way back home after a day-long unannounced visit to Afghanistan where he went after concluding a two-day trip to Russian Federation on Thursday, the two leaders flew to Sharif’s palatial residence of Jati Umra Raiwind, which is some 20 km from the airport, in a chopper making it the first time that any two leaders of the two countries were travelling together. Mr Modi was on his way back from a visit to Russian Federation. It was the primary time an Indian Prime Minister visited Pakistan in additional than 10 years. “Both leaders agreed that it was extremely important that the leaders of both countries should understand each other’s point of view so that the doors of prosperity could open for their people”, Chaudhry said. Modi landed on Friday afternoon in the eastern city of Lahore and met with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, state-run media reported. Shortly thereafter, Modi was seen off by Sharif at the airport. A brief meeting on November 30 between the two leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations climate summit in Paris, followed by talks between the two countries’ national security advisers in Bangkok, appeared to have broken the ice. The visit coincides with Sharif’s birthday and the wedding of his granddaughter. In January, India’s Business Today revealed that Modi was likely to visit Canada in April. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. Modi, a Hindu zealot, came to power in 2014, and has authorized a more robust approach to Pakistan, giving security forces the license to retaliate forcefully along their disputed border and demanding an end to insurgent attacks in Indian territory. When asked about the outcome of the visit, she said one should expect a positive outcome and it would be beneficial for the peoples of the two countries. “If the decision is not preposterous then it is utterly ridiculous”, Congress leader Manish Tewari said. Modi supported the Afghan government’s reconciliation process, and said the groups and individuals to be reconciled must give up violence and abide by the constitution of Afghanistan.
2015 Kashmir Despatch