Nitish Kumar said that the PM's attempt to hasten the rapprochement with Pakistan was an admirable initiative to normalise bilateral ties (FILE photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unscheduled visit to Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif should be lauded, said Nitish Kumar today.
Mr Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, usually exchanges unflattering words with the PM. In November, Mr Kumar's coalition bested an aggressive campaign by the PM to win the Bihar election. Mr Kumar is now serving his third consecutive term as Chief Minister.
He said today that Mr Modi's attempt to hasten the rapprochement with Pakistan by visiting the Pakistani premier on December 25 was an admirable initiative to normalise bilateral ties, which had plummeted over the last year. Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mr Kumar's partner-in-government differs. Attacking the Prime Minister, he said today, "What happened to the 56-inch chest which Modi used to talk about before becoming Prime Minister? How did terrorists enter our air force base? The PM must explain."
Over the weekend, terrorists from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked the Pathankot air force base, in which seven military personnel were martyred and another 20 injured. India has told Pakistan that without prompt action against the perpetrators of the attack, it is unlikely to proceed with talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries, scheduled for next week.
After the attack, some opposition leaders have criticized Mr Modi's visit to Pakistan as an unwarranted and flamboyant move. Mr Kumar made it clear he disagrees, stating that when leaders of the two countries try to improve ties, "incidents to threaten the normalization" will be orchestrated.