ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to the federal capital on Tuesday evening where he was greeted by a volley of criticism from the media, which was up in arms that he had not mentioned Kashmir during his visit to India while he had been greeted by the T word (terrorism).

However, it did not take long for the prime minister’s senior aides to jump into action and address the criticism. They tried hard to convince many that the meeting had been a success.

“Mr Modi’s promise to visit Pakistan, the resumption of secretary level talks, and taking forward the Lahore declaration signed by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and then Indian Prime Minister [Atal Behari] Vajpayee back in 1999 which has a clear mention of the Kashmir issue,” shot back a member of the delegation, when asked to list the reasons the trip should be seen as a success for Pakistan.

He said the two prime ministers had two meetings — a delegation level interaction followed by a one-to-one chit chat, adding that one would easily assume that the two must have discussed irritants between the two countries.

“Yes, the two countries have stated positions on the issue of Kashmir, which need to be discussed and both have agreed to take it up in their future meetings,” said the official.

He pointed out that the BJP’s mood can be judged from the fact that Prime Minister Sharif was received by the new Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, when the former went to visit Mr Vajpayee at his residence.

The frail looking Mr Vajpayee, the official told Dawn, was happy to see Mr Sharif once again and expressed hope for the normalisation of ties between the two countries.

“What else, one can expect from such a short visit?” asked the official.

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