Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to extend condolences on the demise of the latter’s mother last month, it emerged on Thursday.
The letter was forwarded to PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad last week with a request to be conveyed to her father Nawaz, who has been residing in London since last year.
In the letter dated Nov 27, a copy of which was obtained by Dawn NewsTV and confirmed by Indian High Commission sources, Modi conveyed “heartfelt condolences” to the former premier over his mother’s death. “Dear Mian Sahib, I am deeply saddened to learn about the demise of your mother Begum ShamimAkhtar,” the Indian prime minister wrote. “My heartfelt condolences are with you in this hour of intense grief.”
Modi recalled his interaction with Nawaz’s mother during his brief visit to Lahore in 2015, saying: “Her simplicity and warmth was indeed very touching.”
“In this moment of profound grief, I pray to the Almighty to bestow strength upon you and your family to bear this irreparable loss,” he added.
In a separate letter sent to Maryam on Dec 11 at her Lahore residence, Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia requested her to convey the condolence message to Nawaz in London.
In December 2015, Modi had paid a brief surprise visit to Lahore on his way back to India from Kabul. He was received by Nawaz and both leaders had flown to Raiwind from Lahore airport in a chopper.
Modi then briefly attended Nawaz’s grand daughter’s wedding ceremony at his residence and held a brief meeting with his Pakistani counterpart at the time before departing for New Delhi. This was the first time an Indian premier visited Pakistan in more than a decade.