Much ado about nothing
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.