Much ado about noth­ing

Southasia - - EDITORS MAIL -

There has been uproar in the Pak­istani me­dia over Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif’s visit to In­dia to at­tend In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s oath-tak­ing cer­e­mony. Some are crit­i­ciz­ing PM Sharif for ac­cept­ing the in­vi­ta­tion while oth­ers are an­gry with him for not bring­ing up the Kash­mir dis­pute and the wa­ter sharing is­sues in his meet­ing with Modi. Some be­lieve he was not given the pro­to­col he de­served and oth­ers think that In­dia took him for a ride by pre­sent­ing its own de­mands. I think we are try­ing to read too much into the visit. The in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend Modi’s oath-tak­ing cer­e­mony was ex­tended to all heads of South Asian coun­tries and the cer­e­mony was, ac­cord­ingly, at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all eight coun­tries.

Nawaz Sharif re­ceived more cov­er­age than any other leader present there be­cause of the con­tro­ver­sial na­ture of re­la­tions between In­dia and Pak­istan. Also, it is hard to deny that he was given a be­fit­ting pro­to­col. He was given a seat right next to the out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter, Man­mo­han Singh. Pick up any In­dian news­pa­per of those days and you will find PM Sharif’s pic­ture or state­ments promi­nently dis­played on front pages. In­stead of jump­ing to con­clu­sions, we should wait and let both lead­ers move for­ward – even if it is done at a slow pace. And it would be bet­ter if we fo­cus more on the pos­i­tive points.

Bushra Hanif

Mul­tan, Pak­istan

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