Modi’s surprise Lahore visit: criticism from ally, praise from Pakistan


Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has decided to make a surprise stopover in Lahore on his way back to India from Afghanistan

He tweeted, “Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif & wished him on his birthday. Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.”

The sudden visit to Pakistan by Modi comes on the day of Sharif’s birthday. Incidentally, today also happens to be the birth anniversary of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Journalists in Islamabad say that contrary to being in Islamabad to pay tribute to Jinnah’s tomb, Sharif was in Lahore since Thursday night questioning if the planning for today’s meet had been underway since yesterday.

His surprise decision has left many even from his political allies shocked.

Manisha Kayande from Shiv Sena said, “It’s just going to be a photo event. However, buttring we indulge in, Pakistan is not going to reciprocate. Pakistan has been a breeding ground for terrorism.It’s a photo event for Modi, who can post the photo on instagram.”

Shiv Sena had stopped the hosting of Pakistani ghazal singer, Ghulam Ali’s even in Mumbai. Its workers then went on to throw ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was hosting former Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, for a book launch.

In Pakistan, the response has been positive with the country’s political class praising the prime minister’s initiative.

Arif Alvi of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf party told Times Now, “We praise Mr Modi’s step. He’s more likely to improve relations than the Congress party.

Justifying Modi’s decision, BJP’s Nalin Kohli said that the biggest change has been that the two prime ministers were now talking.

Opposition parties have launched scathing attack against Modi. Congress said it was bad trend as the prime minister had not taken the country and the parliament into the confidence.

The JDU’s KC Tyagi asked, “Modi had refused to even look at Nawaz Sharif during Kathmandu meet. Now which sharafat (decency) of Nawaz Sharif has our prime minister fallen in love with? We still remember the head of Hemraj. Does this prime minister not remember?”

Congress’ Manish Tiwari described it ridiculous if not ‘preposterous.

He said, “This adventurism of our prime minister is going to have a monumental impact on India’s national security. What has changed on the ground for our prime minister to indulge in such mis-adventurism.”

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, sarcastically commented that the BJP’s ally PDP will take the credit for ‘forcing’ Modi to stop in Lahore.

A local journalist has told Aaj Tak that the Lahore Airport had been adorned like a bride.

He said, “Lahore airport ko dulhan ki tarah sajaya gaya hai.”

Pakistan’s local media reported that special dishes had been prepared to suit the taste buds of both Modi and Sharif.

Aside from Karahi gosht, a special chef has flown from Islamabad to cook sabzi bhaji, Palak Paneer and sweet dish.

Twitter too has wasted no time in reacting to this ‘strange’ development;

Here’s how the conversation is taking place on the micro blogging site.

More to follow