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Newly sworn-in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with Pakistani counterpart

AFP/Prakash Singh

On Monday, India swore in its new prime minister, Narendra Modi. The inauguration was significant for a number of reasons — here are two: Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party just ousted the incumbent Congress party in a landslide, and Modi is the first Indian prime minister born after the nation's independence from Britain — but the ceremony was also conspicuous for one of the dignitaries in attendance, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

It was the first time since India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 that a leader of one country attended the swearing-in of the other nation's leader. Modi and Sharif met for about an hour Tuesday morning.

Modi surprised everyone last week by inviting the leader of India's nuclear-armed rival to his inauguration, and after a few days and a few hard conversations, Sharif accepted. Modi's BJP advocates a hard line against Pakistan, and many in Pakistan view Modi with suspicion because of the deadly anti-Muslim riots in his state in 2002, when Modi was governor.