Indian, Pakistan leaders hold dramatic meeting

Indian, Pakistan leaders hold dramatic meeting

The leaders of nuclear rivals Indian and Pakistan met for an hours of talks on Friday after India Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise landing in Lahore, where Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a private residence.

It’s the first time India’s prime minister has visited Pakistan in a decade, and offered a beam of Christmas Day hope that the two countries might be able to take a step forward in their relations.

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News reports quoting aides to the two leaders said that they vowed to restart talks between the countries.

The New York Times reported that the trip came about after Modi called Sharif on Dec. 24 to wish him a happy birthday. Sharif’s birthday is Friday, and he was in Lahore for the wedding of his daughter.

Modi had been traveling in Afghanistan — a country and visit that is a source of tension between India and Pakistan — and then stopped in Lahore on his way back to New Dehli.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary told media in Lahore that the two men had met in a “pleasant atmosphere,” according to the Times.

He described Modi’s trip as a “good-will visit,” adding that both leaders agreed to try to move forward talks in a positive way.

India has been upset with Pakistan for what it argues is support for Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, while Pakistan opposes India’s deliveries of attack helicopters to Kabul.

The two countries also have longstanding tensions over the Indian region of Kashmir.