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Visits to Pakistan by Indian Prime Ministers

Narendra Modi, when he visits Islamabad to attend the 19th SAARC Summit in 2016, will only be the fourth Indian PM to visit Pakistan

Archis Mohan 

For Prime Ministers of India crossing the border on an official visit to Pakistan hasn't been easy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he visits Islamabad to attend the 19th SAARC Summit in 2016, will only be the fourth Indian PM to visit Pakistan. Interestingly, it will only be the third instance of Pakistan hosting a SAARC Summit since the group was formed in 1985. An Indian PM was in attendance on the previous two occasions.

> 25 to 27 July, 1953 - Jawaharlal Nehru

It was the first serious effort by the two countries to settle all disputes, including Kashmir. Nehru visited Karachi to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart.

> 19 to 23 September, 1960 - Jawaharlal Nehru

His second visit to Pakistan was to sign the Indus Water Treaty, which has stood the test of time. Nehru visited Karachi, Murree, Nathiagali, Rawalpindi and Lahore, and was received by huge crowds.

> 29 to 31 December, 1988 - Rajiv Gandhi

The first visit to Pakistan by an Indian PM in 28 years, Gandhi was in Islamabad to attend the fourth SAARC Summit. His visit came within months of the first democratically elected government in Pakistan in over a decade headed by Benazir Bhutto. The two signed three bilateral agreements - banning attacks on each other's nuclear installations, improving cultural cooperation while the third related to civil aviation.

> 16-17 July, 1989 - Rajiv Gandhi

It was a rare bilateral visit by an Indian PM to Islamabad, but delivered little with both Gandhi and Bhutto embattled by pressures of domestic politics.

> February 19-20, 1999 - Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Vajpayee took the brave step of travelling to Lahore on the inaugural Lahore-Delhi bus service and walked across the border to be received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. The promise of Lahore Declaration vanished within months with a military takeover in Pakistan and the Kargil war.

> January 4 to 6, 2004 - Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Vajpayee visited Islamabad to attend the 12 th SAARC Summit. The visit consolidated the composite dialogue that the succeeding Manmohan Singh-led UPA-I government pursued with intent until it was severed after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

Source: Ministry of External Affairs Annual Reports

First Published: Sat, July 11 2015. 22:48 IST