High Diplomacy in Lahore

Source: The New York Times, December 25

Narendra Modi and Nawaz SharifIt started with a private phone call by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan on Friday morning to wish him a happy birthday.

About four hours later, Mr. Modi landed in the Pakistani city of Lahore for an impromptu visit with Mr. Sharif, giving such little notice that Mr. Sharif’s national security adviser could not make the journey from Islamabad in time.

It was the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in almost 12 years….

Mr. Modi had sent mixed signals about Pakistan. He surprised many by inviting Mr. Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony last year, but three months later abruptly halted that tentative engagement by canceling high-level talks over Pakistani diplomats’ meeting with separatist leaders from Kashmir.

“In a way, he is sending a signal to everyone that there will be no more U-turns,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, a founding editor at The Wire, an Indian news site. “He is putting his personal political brand on this process. He can’t walk away that easily now.”

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One response to “High Diplomacy in Lahore

  1. Michael Gundy

    The first step to diplomatic resolution is engagement, on any level.