WASHINGTON: Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore as a significant development in the ties between India and Pakistan, mainstream American media today said it is likely to add momentum to a tentative reconciliation process between them.
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan on Friday – a significant sign the icy relationship between the two neighbours is thawing,” CNN said.
The Washington Post said PM Modi has “pressed the reset button on the blow-hot-blow-cold relationship” between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, paving the way for official dialogue to resume next month.
The Wall Street Journal said PM Modi’s surprise move is “likely to add momentum to a tentative reconciliation process” between the nuclear-armed neighbours, while The Chicago Tribune noted it as “potential sign of thawing” relations.
It is “the biggest surprise of all” of Modi’s diplomatic moves since he came to power on May 26, 2014 for which he had invited leaders of the South Asian countries, the Time magazine wrote.
“It’s the first trip to the country by an Indian head of state in a decade and could be a sign of improving relations between the two neighbours,” the popular National Public Radio said.
According to The Los Angeles Times, with his Lahore visit PM Modi “breathed new life into a long troubled” relationship.
The New York Times, which quite often has been critical of the Prime Minister, while underscoring the significance of PM Modi’s impromptu trip to Lahore said the Indian leader in the past has moved from one policy to the other and described it as “a diplomatic dance”.
Twitter where the Prime Minister first informed the world about his visit to Lahore was abuzz with his decision to meet Mr Sharif. All major American news outlets took to Twitter and other modes including SMS and emails to inform their readers about the breaking news from South Asia.
Even on a Christmas Day, a number of think-tank experts and academicians expressed their views about PM Modi’s Lahore visit on the social media.
“Unexpected but welcome visit” by Modi to Lahore, said Richard N Hass, president, Council on Foreign Relations, a top US think-tank. There is “need to make high-level” India-Pak “diplomacy routine”, he wrote on Twitter.
Injecting an element of drama into the see-saw Indo-Pak ties, Mr Modi took the world by surprise with a stopover in Lahore on his way back home from Kabul to meet Sharif and attend a family weeding.