This Article is From Feb 13, 2015

PM Narendra Modi Phones Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, They Bond Over Cricket

FILE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu. (Reuters photo)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to wish him for the World Cup in Australia and the two bonded over cricket after months of strained ties.

PM Modi tweeted this morning that he had spoken to Mr Sharif and the heads of other SAARC countries whose teams are playing in the World Cup to wish them luck.

Sources have told NDTV that PM Modi joked about Nawaz Sharif playing in a warm-up World Cup match in 1987 alongside cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who is now Pakistan's top opposition leader.

Mr Sharif reportedly laughed and said, "Kash woh din dobaara aata (I wish those days would come back.)"

After breaking the ice with cricket, the two leaders went on to discuss diplomacy, said sources.

PM Modi sounded out Nawaz Sharif on India's initiative to send new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on a "SAARC yatra" or tour of South Asian countries, including Pakistan.

Sources say Mr Sharif then discussed the possibility of resuming foreign secretary level talks, which were cancelled in August last year amid a row over the Pakistan envoy's move to engage with Kashmiri separatists.

India said the foreign secretary will discuss bilateral issues during his visit.

Today, PM Modi also tweeted,

India take on Pakistan in its first cricket World Cup match in Adelaide on Sunday.

Mr Modi spoke to the Pakistan PM a day after US President Barack Obama had called Mr Sharif.