LAHORE – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanied with a 120 member delegation arrived in Lahore on Friday to hold a meeting with counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.
Modi landed at Allama Iqbal International Airport and was received by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accompanied by Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Minister Ishaq Dar and other federal ministers.
Security in and around the Allama Iqbal International Airport has been beefed up.
In a message posted on social media, Modi stated that he is looking forward to a meeting with Nawaz Sharif today in the afternoon. Modi was on a one-day visit to Afghanistan where he inaugurated the Parliament building which was built with help of India.Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has hailed Prime Minister’s move. In a tweet, she stated that such should be the terms with neighbours. On the other hand, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson said that Modi’s visit was not scheduled but has come as a surprize.
Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal is also present in Lahore today. It should be mentioned here that Indian journalist Barkha Dutt had claimed in her latest book that Jindal organised a secret meeting between Modi and Nawaz when both the leaders were in Nepal to attend the Saarc 2014.
Know more: Nawaz Sharif, Modi had secret meeting during Saarc 2014, claims Indian media
The two premiers will discuss matters of mutual importance in the meeting. Security arrangements around Jati Umra were tightened as soon as the news broke.
Earlier in November, the two leaders met on sidelines of UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Nawaz and Modi had held a brief meeting then. Sushma Swaraj had visited Islamabad afterwards to participate in the fifth installment of Heart of Asia Conference.
A handshake: Paris climate summit saw a brief meeting between Nawaz and Modi
Indian delegation, led by Sushma had then vowed to resume talks on several issues including Sir Creek and Kashmir. The National Security Advisor (NSA) level dialogue which was called off by India in August was also given a nod.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have increased since the election of Narendra Modi as hundreds of ceasefire violations were done at the Working Boundary and along the Line of Control (LoC).
The last visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan was back in 2004 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had come to Islamabad.