There will not be a more surprising Chapter in PM Narendra Modi’s foreign visits as his surprise Lahore stay to have a friendly engagement with Prime Minister Navas Sharif. Once more the roads of Lahore will welcome the Prime Minister of the Largest Democracy.
People of both countries have started to forget the 1999 Lahore Declaration where Indian and Pakistani leaders signed a friendship treaty. The two Prime Ministers- Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Navas Shariff, both born on Christmas days were the architects of it; though many adverse factors later worked against it as usual.
Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore in his return journey from Afghanistan indeed makes him a different leader in South Asia today. His decision will impart goodwill to the relationship between the two countries. The visit inarguably shows the statesmanship of Mr Modi. It shows the extent of control by Modi in his government, party and the pressure groups he has to deal with back at home.
‘Whatever people might say, Modi is impressive’ -says a comment by a Pakistani in the Dawn online edition and another adds that ‘Modi; a true statesman and politician’.
The most shocked about the surprise visit will be the negative elements of an Indo-Pakistan engagement. There is not time for militant attacks and cross border firings to torpedo the engagement. Definitely Modi outsmarted all of them.
The meeting between the two leaders is going to happen without much homework and may seem to be a personal pleasantry exchange occasion. But more than that, the surprise element has provided tons of momentum in the relationship rebuilding process between the two countries.
Negative elements may reinforce in the form of terrorist attacks and cross firings. But India – Pakistan relationship is a peculiar one and should be treated out of the box as both countries continuously engages with likes and dislikes. For an outsider, the two have the same culture but ‘living separate’.
There are no Himalayas or an Indian Ocean between them but probably only brick walls constructed by the humans. Dicussions and dialogues should be initiated and the Modi visit is a sudden pleasnt happening for the two countries.