Opposition casts wary eye on Nawaz-Modi rendezvous

PTI, PPP leaders says Nawaz failed to take up crucial issues with his Indian counterpart


Web Desk July 10, 2015
PHOTO: EXPRESS

While many are hailing the meeting between Nawaz-Modi in Russia, opposition leaders back home have expressed concern over the joint statement released by the two leaders with some claiming Nawaz got the shorter end of the stick during the rendezvous. 

“Although Pakistan People’s Party welcomes the meeting between the two prime ministers and looks forward to Modi’s upcoming visit but why only Mumbai terror attack issue is discussed in joint statements?,” questioned PPP leader Sherry Rehman.

“Why the issue of unprovoked firing from Indian border forces is not discussed and only Indian concerns are discussed?,” she added.

On the other hand, former interior minister and PPP stalwart Rehman Malik had an issue with Modi's lack of courtesy during the meeting.

“[Our prime minister] was made to walk through a long corridor towards Modi’s chair/throne. [Modi] didn’t show the slightest courtesy under diplomatic norms for his Pakistani counterpart to walk a few steps forward to receive him,” said Malik, while comparing Modi's behaviour to that of a "Tsar of Russia”.

Read: Modi accepts Nawaz’s invite for first Pakistan visit

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said Nawaz Sharif failed to take up the Blochistan unrest case with his Indian counterpart.

Hurriyet leaders also expressed their concerns over Nawz-Modi talks as Kashmir issue did not come under discussion during the meeting.

The Indian media on Friday reported the ruling Bharatia Janata Party (BJP) claimed that Pakistan had accepted their definition of terrorism.

“The meeting was a breakthrough, the reason for this is very clear as for the first time Pakistan has accepted our definition of terrorism,” BJP leader MJ Akbar said at a press conference. "For the first time Pakistan has accepted to combat terrorism in 'all its forms'," he added.

Read: Icebreaker in Ufa: Nawaz-Modi talks may help defuse tensions

Earlier, in a joint press briefing by foreign secretaries of both countries, it was announced that Modi will be travelling to Islamabad in 2016, the first visit by him to Pakistan, to participate in the SAARC summit. The joint statement also said that national security advisors of both countries will be meeting in Delhi to discuss issues on terrorism. Both sides also resolved on ways and means to expedite the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial and exchange voice samples.

Basit cancels Iftar with Kashmiri separatist 

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit cancelled an Iftar that he was scheduled to host for Kashmiri separatist leaders at the Pakistan Embassy on July 4, separatist sources revealed to India Today.

Basit had reportedly sent out invites to the Iftar before cancelling it in wake of the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi which took place earlier on Friday.

Read: Hurriyat leader waves Pakistani flag at Indian Kashmir rally

Separatist leaders that were invited to the Iftar included Syed Ali Shah Gillani, Miwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Shabbir Ahmad Shah.

The Iftar is held on an annual basis especially for separatist leaders. However, this year is the first time the Iftar has been postponed.

"No fresh date for next invitation has been announced and it seems next date would be after Modi-Nawaz meeting," a top separatist leader said.

Read: Modi accepts Nawaz’s invitation to visit Pakistan in 2016

"I think Pakistan didn't want to have huge media focus on Iftar at a time when Prime Ministers of two countries are meeting and that is why they have postponed it," said a lower rung separatist leader on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier in August 2014, India cancelled talks with Pakistan after the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of secretary level talks.

COMMENTS (14)

Meghana | 6 years ago | Reply @Anon: PM Nawaz didn't raise pakistan issues because it was pakistan who issued statement every other day for revival of talks with india, not india. Not only in pakistan, which ever country your diplomats/politicians went they they ranted them to urge india for talks. Which india gave cold shoulder. Why exactly pakistan thinks india would lisen to any third country is a mystery. Considering we don't take aid like you from them. We do business and buy stuff from them worth billions. The court us to select their country as preference from rest selling nations. India will only do what's in its national interest. Anyone who has to get favour from us have to give us favour too. Like india was not ready to give up iran dispite USA pressure. Usa gave us civil nuclear deal and entry to many elite defence clubs, and remove ban on defence tech to india. We took the best deal. India has always said without 26/11 mastermind don't expect india to have talks. Modi would have ignored pakistan 5 years infact ten for minimum of his rule since there is no competition to modi at national level. India is never going to vote for Rahul Gandhi as PM ever. And if Manmohan singh congress govt didn't visit pakistan ten years of his rule, what pressure would modi the ultra nationalist have to make one for indians who could care less? PM Nawaz was smart enough to compromise. And even in this compromise PM modi is only going pakistan to attend saarc summit not for a pakistan specific or bilateral visit.
Anon | 6 years ago | Reply @H Chaudhry: Hey do you know anything about foreign policy engagement? and stop being so condescending to people who don't agree with you.The joint statement was a foreign policy disaster it only accounted for India's concerns and none of Pakistan's. Is that how you start dialogue? Tell me what was stopping our prime minister from raising our issues. Modi Jee was not holding back
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