UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan.
Ban Ki-Moon expressed hope that the dialogue between the two countries will be maintained and strengthened.
In a statement, the UN Secretary General said, “Modi’s visit to Pakistan is in the right direction.” He added he had long been encouraging both leaders of the two countries to engage in dialogue.
Modi made a surprise stopover in Pakistan on Friday to meet his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, the first time an Indian premier has visited in over a decade.
Sharif hugged Modi after he landed at the airport at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport.
Modi was on his way home after a visit to Russia. He stopped off in the Afghanistan capital Kabul earlier on Friday.
Modi and Sharif resumed high-level contacts with a brief conversation at climate change talks in Paris late last month, part of efforts to restart a peace dialogue.
Modi, who inaugurated a new parliament complex built with Indian help in Kabul, spoke to Sharif earlier on Friday to wish him on his 66th birthday.
PM Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi Friday agreed to continue the process through bilateral dialogue, said the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman in a statement issued after the two leaders met in Lahore.
According to the Foreign Office spokesman, Premier Nawaz Sharif welcomed Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan and both the leaders expressed the wish to carry on the process of talks for the general good of the peoples of the two neighbouring countries besides working in collaboration with a view to improve bilateral relations.
Both PMs said the objective of the peace process is to aim for prosperity of the people on both sides of the Wagah-divide. In this context, they also agreed to enhance bilateral contacts.