Modi Reaches Lahore to Greet ‘Birthday Boy’ Nawaz

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Lahore: In a surprise visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached Lahore to extend his greeting to Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.

During his two-hour stopover, Modi is scheduled to visit Nawaz Sharif’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore. Modi will later fly out of Lahore and head for Delhi at 5.15 pm.

Earlier, Modi had tweeted that he was going to drop by Lahore while returning from Kabul to meet Sharif, who is celebrating his 66th birthday today.Â

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“Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi. Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif and wished him on his birthday,” Modi said in a series of tweets moments after inaugurating the new building of Afghanistan Parliament in Kabul.

Modi’s unscheduled stopover in Lahore to meet Sharif has surprised many. He is scheduled to visit Pakistan next year to attend SAARC Summit, scheduled to be held in September 2016.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the last Indian Prime Minister to visit Pakistan who had visited Islamabad in January 2004 to attend the SAARC Summit besides holding talks with then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Modi’s tweets announcing his unscheduled pitstop in Lahore came just after the prime minister inaugurated the new building of Afghanistan Parliament in Kabul.

Addressing a joint session of the two Afghan Houses in the new Parliament building along with President Ashraf Ghani, Modi, sent  a strong message on terror without naming Pakistan. He made it a point to mention that New Delhi has been helping Kabul inorder to lay down the foundation stone of a new relationship between both the countries.