Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday inked seven pacts in various sectors including cooperation in space, water management and agriculture. In a joint statement, they said their talks were not limited to bilateral opportunities, but included cooperation in fighting terrorism. While PM Modi said India’s belief in democratic values and economic progress has been a “shared pursuit”, Netanyahu hailed Indo-Israel ties as a “marriage made in heaven”.
Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, concludes his three-day trip to the Jewish nation on Thursday. The two countries are also celebrating 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, this year.
Read: India, Israel ‘strategic partners’, sends strong message on terror. Click here.
See what the Pakistani media said on PM Modi’s visit:
Titled ‘Indo-Israeli embrace’, an editorial in Dawn on Thursday says PM Modi’s meeting with Netanyahu provides Pakistan an opportunity to “build world opinion” on the Kashmir issue. Comparing Israel’s “atrocious behaviour” towards Palestinians to the “brute force” India has “unleashed” upon Kashmiris, the Dawn editorial states the Indo-Israel relationship has emerged as a “steady bilateral alliance.”
“Both right-wing governments in Tel Aviv and Delhi seem to be sharing notes on how to keep these restive populations in check, with the Israelis stifling Gaza and the Indians using the jackboot to crush the Kashmiris,” the editorial says.
The Express Tribune
Making comparisons with PM Modi’s Israel visit, The Express Tribune, in an editorial titled ‘Of Rocks and Harder Places’, says Pakistan remains engaged in “border management” and that its foreign policy is still a “distant dream”. “The visit to Israel by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a heads-up for the world at large. Not only does India have a foreign policy that is changing the shape of the envelope, it has the capacity to see through, much to its advantage, the policies that emerge therefrom. The scale of welcome for Mr Modi when the entire Israeli cabinet turned out to greet him was itself an indicator that times were changing,” the editorial states.
Also read: I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai… live there: Moshe to PM Narendra Modi. Click here.
The News International
The News International described PM Modi’s meeting with Netanyahu one of “similar minds”.
“Both are religious fundamentalists whose zealotry has led them to demonise and massacre Muslims. It is no surprise that Modi is one of the only Indian leaders to have visited Israel before, going there in 2006 when he was chief minister of Gujarat and had already led a pogrom against Muslims,” the editorial says, adding, “That both leaders are religious chauvinists only makes their alliance more dangerous.”
The editorial says that by securing greater military ties with Israel — defence deals worth $1 billion were signed between PM Modi and Netanyahu during this trip — India aims to insidiously be at the forefront of an anti-terrorism bloc.
“India’s cynical hope is that by tarring all Muslims as terrorists it will be able to delegitimise the liberation movement in Kashmir,” The News International editorial says. It adds, “Modi has aligned himself with every anti-Muslim zealot around and his alliance of demagogues is a threat to every genuine movement for liberation in the world.”
The Daily Times
The Daily Times, which stands in solidarity with Palestinians, in an editorial titled ‘When Modi met Bibi’, opines that India could have made use of its “economic clout” to influence Israel in weakening its hold over occupied territories.
“Yet at heart Modi is a hyper-nationalist who only speaks the language of neoliberal economics. In Netanyahu, he sees a ‘friend’ who also believes in silencing dissent. The significance of Modi skipping a visit to Ramallah, the traditional home of the Palestinian Authority, cannot be overstated,” the editorial says.
The Nation’s editorial ‘Breaking Silence’ questions the timing of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s call for support for the “oppressed Muslims in Kashmir” earlier this week given PM Modi’s visit to Israel — the first in 70 years. Opining that Khamenei’s remarks may have been prompted by the urge to remind India what a friendship with Israel might cost, the edit adds that PM Modi’s visit translates to India standing with an enemy of the Muslim bloc.
“The biggest problem though, is that a country asking Muslims to unite for oppressed Muslims in Kashmir is the one most other Muslim nations have united against,” the editorial said. However, it adds, given the differences between Iran and other Gulf countries it’s unlikely to translate into action.
Khamenei had said, “Conflicts in Yemen, Bahrain, problems in all Islamic countries, are major wounds on the body of Islam. The World of Islam should explicitly support the people of Yemen, and express their disdain against the oppressors who’ve attacked the people in such horrible ways during the month of Ramadan… The same is true for the people of Bahrain and Kashmir: Our people can back this great movement within the World of Islam.”