Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel is historic for many reasons. The fact that he is the first ever Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel and will not pay a visit to Ramallah, detouring from the customary practices, has created a lot of buss. And Pakistani media is covering Modi’s Israel visit at great length. They are also attaching a great deal of importance to defence deals between the two countries.
One of Pakistan’s most influential English language newspapers, Dawn, used a wire copy to report on the issue. Titled “Modi set to become first Indian PM to visit Israel”, the report largely reflected on the defence deals between India and Israel. It also said about the transaction diplomacy between the two countries and how Modi might use the opportunity to encourage manufacturers from Israel to come and built their business in India. The report also spoke about how India-Israel relations have bloomed and how New Delhi is increasingly turning away from its old-time military hardware ally Russia.
In an another report titled “Modi heads to Israel, lifting the curtain on close ties,” the newspaper talked about how Modi skipping the visit to Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian Authority at a time when there is alleged growth of extremism in India can make a strong statement. The report also quoted Asaduddin Owaisi, the President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen saying, “Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel will only strengthen its occupation of Palestine.” The report hinted that the visit may be aimed at countering the military strength of Pakistan and China.
Express Tribune, meanwhile, used a wire copy to talk about how the visit has made the Indian Jews in Israel excited. It quotes several Indian Jews who are terming the visit a landmark moment for the Jewish state. Dunya news also used a wire copy similar to Dawn to report on the visit.
Most newspapers in Pakistan used the wire copied to inform its readers about Modi’s visit to Israel. However, there was very little commentary on how the visit may impact Pakistan or global politics. There were also no editorials carried on the issue.
TV channels on the other hand tried to look at the visit with a deeper lens. According to a report in Hindustan Times, Khawar Ghumman referred to India and Israel as a ‘nexus.’ “This is an old nexus and we know that in the past, Israel has actively worked with India to counter Pakistan,” Ghumman said on Channel 42.
Security analyst Brig Ghazanfar Ali said there were “similarities between Hindu nationalism and Jewish nationalism”. He added that blooming relationship between New Delhi and Tel Aviv can impact Pakistan’s security concerns and that “We need to check mate India’s aggressive diplomatic moves.”
Modi will arrive in Israel on Tuesday. He is on a three day visit to the country and will mark the celebration of 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Ahead of his visit, Israel on Monday backed India on the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating out of Pakistan.