The Pakistan media is largely approaching Narendra Modi’s appointment as India’s Prime Minister with cautious optimism. But there are some sections who are critical of this development, terming it as the “resurgence of ultraconservatives in India”. Here is a wrap of the best from the newspapers across the border.
‘Modi, Muslims and Kashmir’ in the Friday Times labels Modi as the ‘biggest polariser’ in the elections, while it said Amit Shah tried a new method of counter-polarisation to make the Muslim vote useless’. “With this huge but one-sided mandate and his previous record in Gujarat for which he refused to apologise, the concern among the biggest minority of India is genuine,” the piece said. But they were quick to point out positive parallels between Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Pakistan diplomacy and Modi’s approach. “In spite of Kargil and the Parliament Attack of 2001, Vajpayee visited Pakistan twice in his six-year tenure as prime minister, but Manmohan Singh did not take up even a single visit to Pakistan. Since Modi has an overwhelming mandate and is apparently strong in his decisions, it is expected that he may take some concrete steps in case he is enamored by Vajpayee’s positive approach. Nothing can be achieved in Kashmir unless the distance between New Delhi and Islamabad is narrowed down.”
‘Right Turn’, another edit in The Friday Times said: “The Indian electorate has overwhelmingly chosen BJP to rule the country, there is no reason to despair. Most politicians when in power behave much more responsibly than their pre-election rhetoric would suggest. Importantly, India has a long history of religious tolerance, pluralism and syncretism. It also has an independent judiciary, fiercely free press, and a well-established segment of the population dedicated to the preservation of secular, liberal values and protection of human rights.”
‘Engaging Modi’ in Dawn said: “Modi’s invitation is an astute diplomatic move and a mixed blessing for the Pakistan prime minister. Its rejection could have been construed as an unfriendly gesture and justification for future Indian belligerence. However, its acceptance, despite past and recent insults hurled at Pakistan, could cast this country in the role of an Indian satrap, more so if other South Asian leaders attend. The occasion could be utilised by Modi to set the bilateral and regional agenda. In any case, peace is not about to break out between Pakistan and India.”
‘Pakistan loves Modi’, a satirical piece in the The Nation quipped that ‘religious parties in Pakistan are especially ecstatic’.