NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has sent a box of mangoes to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and the ‘king of fruits’ delivered (to the prime minister) through official channels, Indian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
“Mangoes were delivered to (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi through official channels,’’ the newspaper quoted an Indian official, who did not wish to be named. In 2014, the fruit – relished equally on both sides of the border – was seen as a peace offering following cancelation of the secretary-level dialogue by India.
“Mangoes have been integral to the way Pakistan conducts diplomacy with India,” the paper reported. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, too, got a taste of Nawaz Sharif’s mango diplomacy, as fruit boxes were also delivered at Rashtrapati Bhawan and 10 Janpath.
The diplomatic circles appreciates the gesture by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying this (gesture) hints at Pakistan’s willingness to engage India in peace talks despite Indian provocation at the Line of Control in the disputed Jammu Kashmir and the Working Boundary near border villages of Punjab province. Foreign Office has also reiterated Pakistan’s desire to improve relations with India.
In June 2014, Prime Minister Modi said in a Tweet that he was happy to receive a sari (dress) for his mother from Nawaz Sharif. “Nawaz Sharif ji has sent a wonderful white Sari for my mother. I am really grateful to him and will send it to my mother very soon,” he said.
In May 2014, Prime Minister Modi had gifted a shawl for Nawaz Sharif’s mother and a compilation of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poetry as a symbol of affection and respect. Maryam Nawaz – daughter of the prime minister – thanked Narendra Modi through a tweet for sending a shawl for her grandmother.
On Eid, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval also sent a gift hamper to Abdul Basit – Pakistan’s high commissioner to India.