“Ab yahan aana jaana laga rahey ga (Now we’ll keep coming and going),” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said to his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Nawaz Sharif, during a surprise visit here on his way back hom
“Ab yahan aana jaana laga rahey ga (Now we’ll keep coming and going),” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said to his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Nawaz Sharif, during a surprise visit here on his way back home from Kabul.
Mr Modi, who stayed for over two hours in Lahore on Friday, queried Mr Sharif when the Pakistani Prime Minister introduced him to his family members: “‘Aap ka sara parivar yahan rahta hai (All members of your family stay here) ’” Mr Sharif replied, “‘Yes, some 70 to 80 family members stay here’,” a source privy to the chat told PTI on Saturday.
Injecting an element of drama into the see-saw Indo-Pak ties, Mr Modi had taken the world by surprise when he had announced in a tweet from Kabul that he would “drop by” in Lahore to greet Mr Sharif on his 66th birthday.
After Mr Modi landed in Lahore, the two leaders flew to Mr Sharif’s palatial residence, Jati Umra Raiwind, on the outskirts of the city in a helicopter, making it the first time that any two leaders of the two countries had travelled together.
“Modi said, ‘Ab to yahan anaa jaana laga rahey ga (Now we’ll keep coming and going),” the source said. To this, Mr Sharif said, “‘Why not, this is your house.’”
Mr Sharif also introduced his mother to Mr Modi, who touched her feet. Mr Modi presented “saris” and other gifts to Mr Sharif on the occasion of the wedding of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa (daughter of Mariam Nawaz Sharif), the source added. The two leaders spent about 80 minutes together during which Mr Modi greeted Mr Sharif’s family members.
According to the external affairs ministry spokesman, the visit and the talks were aimed at infusing a “positive spirit” in the neighbourhood. The first visit by an Indian PM in 11 years marked another step forward by the two countries in their efforts to put their ties on an even keel.