LAHORE - The security establishment, a key player in the efforts for regional peace especially with rival India, has been taken by surprise by the sudden visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi to Jati Umra, security sources told The Nation yesterday.

The security quarters are watching the aftermath of the development with care, though they are keeping mum. The security establishment was taken into ‘confidence’ at the eleventh hour regarding the sudden visit of the Indian premier, they added.

Mr Modi in an unusual move on Friday paid an unscheduled visit to Prime Minister of Pakistan at his residence in Jati Umra, Raiwind, on his way back to Delhi from Kabul. The development generated mixed signals from different quarters at home.

It cannot be said with certainty that a senior diplomat’s presence in the provincial capital was also a surprise besides other surprises that took place Friday. The security establishment believed Indian premier’s visit in fact was not a surprise landing; rather, grounds for it had been in the making for quite some time.

Sudden actions sometimes invite suspicion instead of goodwill. Meeting between the two prime ministers cannot be called informal, as serious matters at times are discussed in informal meetings which later become formal, they said while explaining the diplomatic impact of such developments.

“Such meetings cannot be called a breakthrough or milestone when the core issues need immediate attention. The security quarters will always be on the frontline to achieve peace but the important thing is what will be the price for the peace.

“It is true that the two neighbours have to pursue peace efforts but sincerity and goodwill gesture cannot be displayed through surprise visits, as actions speak louder than words. There is a need for some on ground action,” they added.

“Has foreign subversion in Balochistan, Karachi and Punjab been stopped? Have some certain consulates stopped aiding and abetting enemies of Pakistan from Afghan soil?” these are the few questions open to the people who are trying to make something out of nothing on the ground,” they said.

Indian premier addressing a joint session of the Afghan parliament made two indirect references to Pakistan, saying, “There are some who did not want us to be here. There were those who saw sinister designs in our presence here. Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism no longer flows from across the border; when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism are shut; and, their patrons are no longer in business.”

The security quarters believe that democratically-elected government can succeed in negotiating some key issues with Delhi but it can happen only when the security establishment is taken into confidence prior to each action, big or small.