PM Modi arrives in Delhi after Lahore visit, Pak welcomes India’s initiativehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/narendra-modi-pakista-visit-lahore-nawaz-sharif-today/

PM Modi arrives in Delhi after Lahore visit, Pak welcomes India’s initiative

PM Narendra Modi tweeted that he would make a stop-over in Lahore. He is expected to spend a couple of hours in Pakistan.

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Modi Lahore visit.: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif greets PM Modi in Lahore on Friday.

In an unprecedented diplomatic development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Lahore on Friday evening to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his way back from Afghanistan. Earlier in the day, he made an announcement on Twitter about the stopover to meet Sharif, who is incidentally celebrating his birthday on December 25.

READ: Security in Lahore on high alert ahead of PM Modi’s visit

Here are the highlights: 

READ: Personally touched by Sharif’s welcome: PM Narendra Modi 

9:15 pm:

9:00 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight returned home from his three-nation visit which took him to Russia, Afghanistan and a surprise stop-over in Pakistan.

READ: Modi’s favourite ‘saag, cooked in desi ghee’ and other delicacies at Sharif’s home

8:55 pm:

7:48 pm: Both leaders expressed desire to carry forward dialogue process for larger good of people of both nations: Aizaz Chaudhary, Pak Foreign Secy

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7:40 pm: Talks with India will be taken forward: Pak foreign secretary

7:38 pm:

7:32 pm:

6:50 pm:

6:30 pm: We are clear that the PM is there to promote his own interests and not national interest: Anand Sharma, Congress.

SEE PICS: Modi in Lahore: Nawaz welcomes birthday guest

6:20 pm:

6:10 pm:

6:00 pm:

5:55 pm:

5:53 pm:

5:50 pm: “We do not have any issues with relations improving between India and Pakistan… No right thinking persons shall have any reservation on it. However, the two countries have to address the Kashmir issue as per wishes and aspirations of the people if these endeavours are to succeed,” Geelani told PTI.

5:45 pm:

5:40 pm: 

5:37 pm: AAP wondered as to what was the change that prompted Modi to visit Lahore when BJP opposed talks with Pakistan.

5:34 pm: A PM House spokesman here said the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours.

5:32 pm: Opposition reacts to PM Modi’s Pakistan visit. Read: JD (U) ‘shocked’, Omar welcomes gesture

5:28 pm: The last visit to Pakistan by an Indian prime minister was in 2004 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose 91st birthday fell today and who is credited with bringing about a thaw in relations with Islamabad.

5:23 pm: The agenda of the meeting is not known but the two leaders are expected to discuss major issues which have rocked ties between the two countries.

5:20 pm: Modi was accorded a red carpet welcome as PM’s special IAF Boeing 737 plane made a smooth touchdown at 4.20 local time(4.50 IST). He then took a chopper to proceed to Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence in the outskirts of Lahore.

5:12 pm:

5:10 pm:

5.05 pm: Sharif present at airport to greet Modi. The two leaders board a chopper on way to the Pakistan PM’s residence.

4:22 pm: “I am stunned and shocked. At this moment, I can think of beheaded Hemraj,” said JD(U) leader KC Tyagi.

4:20 pm: JD(U) said it was “stunned” by the decision, especially in the wake of violations by the neighbouring country on the border, including the beheading of an Indian jawan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj commended the move, calling it ‘statesman-like.’

This will be the first visit by PM Modi to Pakistan after he was voted to power last year.

Read: Mapping PM Modi’s foreign trips in 2015

Sharif had made his visit to India last year when he attended PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Both leaders have conducted several meetings on the sidelines of summits and conferences in foreign countries.

Click to read in Hindi: PM मोदी काबुल एयरपोर्ट के लिए रवाना हुए, लाहौर एयरपोर्ट पर शरीफ के साथ 2 घंटे की मुलाकात 

The relations between India and Pakistan have witnessed some positive developments after a chill lasting several months. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after PM Modi and Sharif met on the sidelines of the Paris climate change conference.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier met Sharif in Islamabad at the Heart of Asia conference.

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PM Modi had landed earlier today in Kabul where he held talks with President Ashraf Ghani and inaugurated the new Parliament building. He had also made a visit to Moscow where he held comprehensive discussions with President Vladimir Putin and inked several deals.

(With PTI inputs)