Bus to Lahore

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Even during his previous governmental experience as the external affairs minister of India, Vajpayee had sought to redefine India’s relation with its neighbors. As the prime minister of India he made similar attempts that ultimately proved futile. In order to improve the relationship with Pakistan, Vajpayee embarked upon a historic bus journey that was to take him to Lahore. On crossing the Wagah border post, he was given a warm reception by the then prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. The mask of love and brotherhood that Pakistan wore that day had a much deeper meaning, since Pakistani establishment was more interested in riding a bus to Kargil than the bus of friendship.

The two countries signed, what became known as Lahore declaration. Emphasis was laid on solving the disputes between them through negotiations. Hopes were seen of a bright future, visions were created. But all the euphoria led nowhere, ultimately Lahore proved to be the biggest blunder in Vajpayee’s career.

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