Narendra Modi’s Pakistan visit calls for cautious diplomatic optimism

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistan on Friday where he met his counterpart Nawaz Sharif to greet him on his birthday. In pictures the two can be seen smiling and even holding hands.
To many observers in the Subcontinent it was as close as you could get to a Christmas miracle, being the first visit by an Indian prime minister since 2004. The fact that Modi has a reputation as a hardliner, who in the past has taken a strong stance towards relations with Pakistan, adds significantly to the occasion.