NEW DELHI - India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday thanked his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for gifting his mother a “wonderful” white sari in more warm words between the South Asian leaders.
After sweeping to a landslide election victory last month, Hindu nationalist Modi invited Sharif to his inauguration in a surprise move seen as a significant olive branch to India’s Muslim neighbour. “Nawaz Sharif ... has sent a wonderful white sari for my mother,” Modi tweeted from his personal account. “I am really grateful to him & will send it to my mother very soon,” he added.
Modi, who gave Sharif a shawl for his mother at their meeting in New Delhi, called for Pakistan to crack down on terror groups while signalling his openness to peace talks. Twitter users Thursday welcomed the “sari” diplomacy between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals, but one user joked that Sharif had perhaps misheard Modi.
“Oh, I thought we had asked him for a sorry,” wrote Ramesh Srivats, a marketing professional. Bilateral ties broke down after attacks by Pakistani gunmen on India’s commercial hub Mumbai in 2008, in which 166 people were killed. Modi, expected to be a hawk in office, has surprised some commentators by reaching out to Pakistan and regional rival China.