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Modi Surprise Visit to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Modi will make a visit to regional Pakistan Friday in the first visit by an Indian prime minister in more than a decade.

Modi announced the visit earlier Friday during a stop in Afghanistan, saying he is “looking forward to meeting” Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the city of Lahore later in the day.

The two leaders first resumed high-level contact between the two nations with a brief conversation two weeks ago in Paris at an international climate conference.

Relations between the nuclear neighbours have been strained for the entirety of Pakistan’s existence, after it split off from India in 1947, both gaining independence from Britain.

The two nations have fought three wars since then, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir, which is ruled in part by each but claimed in entirety by both.

Earlier Friday in a speech to the Afghan parliament, Modi called for greater regional cooperation among India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to bolster Afghanistan’s development. He said Afghanistan’s success will require support of each of its neighbors. In that list he included not just India and Pakistan, but also Iran “and others” in the region as Afghanistan fights terrorism and works to establish a strong government.

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