Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took everyone by surprise by tweeting that he would make a pit stop at Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his way back home from a brief visit to Afghanistan.
Modi is meeting Sharif on his birthday at the Lahore airport.
Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 25, 2015
He also wished Sharif over the phone which was made evident by another tweet:
Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif & wished him on his birthday.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 25, 2015
This is Modi’s first visit to Pakistan after coming to power last year and the third one between the two prime ministers since their talks on the margins of the SCO Summit in the Russian city of Ufa in July, marking an uptick in high-level bilateral contacts following a prolonged freeze in ties.
His announcement of the surprise visit garnered mixed reactions on Twitter:
There won't be any outcome of such impromptu visits. Modi only giving away the strong position India had in UPA days. #JumlaInPakistan— Vinod Mehta (@DrunkVinodMehta) December 25, 2015
#ModiInLahore is diplomacy replete with symbolism but it must be welcomed. I just hope there is more consistency in India's Pakistan policy.— Ashutosh Pandey (@ashutoshpande85) December 25, 2015
Please take care of our national anthem #JumlaInPakistan— Meric Marcil (@MericMarcil) December 25, 2015
To deflect attention from corruption accused Jaitley & to manage headlines PM is visiting Pakistan. #JumlaInPakistan— Syed Maqbool (@maqbool_sm) December 25, 2015
#ModiInLahore awesome gesture truly out of the box thinking this is the kind of move which would lead to significant progress & peace— P Chandrashekhar (@pc1011) December 25, 2015
A surprise visit to Lahore is another example of Modi statesmanship and diplomacy. #ModiInLahore— Chicken Biryani (@ChickenBiryanii) December 25, 2015
This adventure of PM Modi is going to have serious implications on India's national security- Manish Tewari,Congress pic.twitter.com/xQvJQEpFmM— ANI (@ANI_news) December 25, 2015