New Delhi, Dec. 25 (ANI): In a sharp contrast to the main opposition Congress Party that was going hammers and tongs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “unscheduled” visit to Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday on Friday, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh said it was a good development, and he welcomed the move.
Praising the Prime Minister’s “Birthday Diplomacy”, Singh said, “It’s a very smart move, diplomatically. I think he has scored a mark.”
However, the seasoned diplomat noted: “This visit is symbolic, and I don’t think that any fundamental change will take place in our policy. But, the process has started, and his stopping at Lahore – it may be for 15 minutes or half an hour, it doesn’t matter – but the symbolism is not going to be lost on both side of the border.”
Prime Minister Modi met his Pakistani counterpart Sharif at latter’s residence Raiwind Palace, the ancestral home of the Sharifs, in Lahore, where he also discussed Indo-Pak relations with him. “Beyond the noise, a personal connect. The Prime Ministers discuss #IndiaPakistan relations in Raiwind,” tweeted Vikas Swarup, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.
“In terms of diplomacy it’s a good development, but the visit doesn’t have any agenda,” said Singh, adding that it’s a good development, and he welcomes it.
“It adds to the process started around six weeks ago on reopening the composite dialogue, which I welcome. It’s a good thing that they have done, because by not talking what are you are achieving,” he added. (ANI)