When Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to stop over in Lahore on his way back to New Delhi from Kabul, he surprised not only Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif but also political and diplomatic observers of the two countries.
Friday’s visit has raised hopes that stop-and-start negotiations between the nuclear-armed neighbours might finally make progress after three wars and more than 65 years of hostility.
It was the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Pakistan since 2004 though by no means the first meeting between Modi and Sharif.
Here is a look at the various occasions when the two prime ministers met and the ups and downs in the relations between India and Pakistan since Modi came to power in 2014:
# May 21, 2014: Narendra Modi invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony.
# May 26, 2014: Sharif attends swearing-in of Modi as India’s Prime Minister.
# Diplomacy: Sharif sent a white sari for Modi’s mother after he gifted a shawl to Sharif’s mother when he visited India for the swearing-in.
# Ceasefire violation: Around 800 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported in the first year of Modi government.
# August 18, 2014: India called off talks between foreign secretaries scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25 after Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri separatists.
# November 27, 2014: Modi and Sharif reportedly held hour-long secret meeting on sidelines of Saarc Summit in Nepal.
# March 3, 2015: Foreign secretary S Jaishankar met his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhury in Islamabad as part of a Saarc yatra.
# July 10, 2015: Modi and Sharif met in the Russian city of Ufa on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, decided that NSAs would discuss all terror-related issues.
# August 22, 2015: Planned talks between the NSAs in New Delhi called off after Pakistan insisted on including Kashmir in the agenda.
# November 30, 2015: Modi and Sharif met in Paris on the sidelines of the global summit on climate change.
# December 6, 2015: The NSAs held a secret meeting in Bangkok, following which external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj attended the Heart of Asia summit in Islamabad.
# December 9, 2015: Sushma holds talks with Sartaj Aziz on Dec 9. The two sides agreed to launch the comprehensive dialogue process.
# December 25, 2015: Modi goes for a surprise visit to Lahore to meet Sharif on his birthday while returning from his tour from Russia, Afghanistan.