ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a bouquet of flowers sent for the head of India’s ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, about a week back when he learnt of her sudden illness.
Sonia Gandhi, 66, had to be admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on August 26 after she felt unwell during a debate in the parliament.
On Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directive, the Foreign Office instructed its High Commission in New Delhi to have flowers delivered to the ailing Congress leader, The Nation has learnt. A bouquet was sent with a ‘get well’ message and warm wishes on behalf of the Prime Minister. Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir was tasked to do the needful.
Sonia Gandhi appreciated the goodwill gesture by Nawaz Sharif and conveyed her ‘thank you’ to the Prime Minister for his message of greetings, according to sources privy to the ‘floral diplomacy’.
After the May 11 general election, this was perhaps the first contact between Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi who is considered to be the most powerful politician in India.
Reportedly the Congress leader will be travelling to the US for a medical check-up. Sonia Gandhi fell ill during a marathon parliament debate on some important food welfare scheme legislation. “She was led limping out of the lower house in early evening by her son and colleagues,” Reuters reported on August 26. Reports in the media said Sonia Gandhi complained of chest pain and had viral fever. Italian-born Indian leader Sonia Gandhi became President of the Congress party a few years after her husband Rajiv Gandhi, former prime minister, was assassinated. However, she opted not to become the prime minister after Congress won the 2004 elections despite insistence of her party.