The Shiv Sena said on Monday that political careers of leaders who got too close to Pakistan have been on the wane, as it criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent surprise visit to Lahore.
The Sena also said that the neighbouring country’s soil is “cursed” because it is soaked in the blood of lakhs of innocent Indians.
“What needs to be remembered is that there is an orthodox belief that in the past, no politician who has tried to get too close to Pakistan has been able to remain in politics for long. LK Advani had once been to the tomb of (Mohammed Ali) Jinnah and had praised him. After that, his political graph started declining and today he has been sidelined,” the Sena said in an edit in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“(AB) Vajpayee, in a bid to mend the strained relations between both countries, started the ‘Lahore bus’ service and also went out of his way to meet General (Pervez) Musharraf in Agra. After that, never did a BJP government come to power under the leadership of Vajpayee?” it said.
It further questioned BJP’s response in case a Congress Prime Minister had made an unscheduled stopover in Pakistan.
“The whole country is asking if BJP would have similarly welcomed a Congress PM’s unannounced stopover in Lahore like they did for Modi. Pakistan’s soil is cursed and kissing it would prove to be costly because it is soaked in the blood of lakhs of innocent Indians,” the edit said.
PM Modi made a surprise visit to Lahore on way back to India from Afghanistan last Friday and held talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, who received the Indian leader warmly at the airport.
The unscheduled visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 11 years, was announced by Modi on Twitter as he was winding up a brief trip to Kabul. It was also Modi’s first visit to Pakistan and marked another step by the two neighbour in their efforts to put ties on an even keel.
Modi and Sharif “expressed their desire to carry forward the dialogue process for larger good of peoples of the two countries” and also agreed to “continue and enhance contacts and work together to establish good neighborly relations”, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson tweeted after the visit that lasted nearly two hours.