Christmas Miracle. . . . . . . Modi Visits Scharif

From BBC News

A handout photograph released by the Indian Press Information Bureau (PIB) on 25 December 2015 of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) being welcomed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif (L), at the airport in Lahore, Pakistan, 25 December 2015
  Image copyrightEPA
Image captionMr Modi (right) arrived at Lahore airport before the two men went to Mr Sharif’s nearby estate

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during a surprise visit to the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Mr Modi was returning to India from Afghanistan when he stopped off. The visit coincided with the Pakistani prime minister’s birthday.

Mr Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Pakistan since 2004.

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours were high in recent years but relations have begun to improve.

The pair met briefly in Paris last month on the sidelines of the COP21 climate change conference.

The two men hugged after Mr Modi arrived at Allama Iqbal International Airport on Friday, before making their way to Mr Sharif’s nearby estate.


Analysis – Shaimaa Khalil, BBC News, Kabul

The Twitter hashtags about Mr Modi’s visit to Pakistan started almost as soon as he announced on social media that he was going to “drop by” to see Mr Sharif on his birthday after a visit to Kabul.

One of the more telling ones was #Xmasmiracle.

This was always going to be an historic event, but the spontaneous and personal nature of the visit took many by surprise.

The two men have a lot to discuss, including the decades-long conflict along the Kashmir border.

Many see Mr Modi’s visit as a solid step in the warming of relations between the nuclear rivals but there’s a long way to go before that is translated to actual peace on the borders.

There’s of course criticism on both sides about this gesture. The opposition Congress party in India called it ridiculous. In Pakistan, many took to Twitter to say that Mr Modi was not welcome.


Neither side has released a statement on the substance of the talks, which lasted two hours.

After the meeting, Mr Modi left to return to India.

Flashpoint border

Mr Modi, a Hindu nationalist, came to power in 2014 and has tried to help raise India’s international profile.

The two countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

Kashmir, claimed by both countries in its entirety, has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years.

A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.

Modi_Sharif_PTI

I was wondering what to post this morning when this story from BBC News caught my eye. From before being sworn in as PM in India, Modi contacted Sharif to personally invite him to the inauguration which the PM of Pakistan accepted and attended.  Why is this important to the world?   Well, the Indian /Pakistan situation can be compared to Northern Ireland/England or Israeli/ Palestinian  conflicts of families and cousins and religions and in this case both countries being armed with nuclear weapons. The differences are very great, and deep.  Mr. Modi  taking the first steps to reach out to Mr. Sharif and visit Pakistan sends a very strong message, as does Mr. Sharif’s acceptance.  It tells both countries as well as the world, that they want to give peace a chance.  May it be!

Christ is called the Prince of Peace.  Neither of these men are Christians but this meeting happened on December 25, the traditional birthday celebration of Christ. I personally don’t believe in coincidences !

 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Religions of the World, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s