How the Pakistani press covered the Narendra Modi-Sharif meeting in Paris
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the sidelines of CoP 21 summit on climate change on Monday. PTI Photo / Twitter
The unexpected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris was reported extensively across media networks in both countries. The brief conversation between the two leaders came after several months of their earlier meeting in Ufa, Russia. Since then, there has been a deadlock over dialogue between India and Pakistan who have had several outstanding issue especially over Kashmir. A scheduled meeting between the NSAs of both countries in August was eventually cancelled after India made it clear that no third party could be invited during talks between both countries.
Thus the meeting between the two leaders in Paris, brief as it was, has been seen optimistically by people of India and Pakistan. Here’s how the press in Pakistan reported on the meeting.
Dawn newspaper – Dawn, one of Pakistan’s widely-read English-language newspapers, reported on the Modi-Sharif meeting through the prism of how the two countries saw it. Headlined ‘Sharif meets Modi: ‘exchange of courtesies’ or ‘good talks’?’, the report throws light on whether the leaders had ‘good talks’ (PM Sharif’s version) or else it was just an ‘exchange of courtesies’ (as put by Indian MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup). In a video posted along with the story, the two leaders could be seen sitting on a couch and having a brief exchange of words.
“Although the Indian media, which is present at COP21 in large numbers, went into frenzy over the encounter, an official from the Pakistani delegation later clarified that the Modi-Sharif meeting was more of an ice-breaker than anything else,” the report says.
The Dawn report goes on to quote a Pakistani official saying that the dialogue between the two countries may just have been back on track after their brief conversation between Modi and Sharif.
Express Tribune newspaper – This newspaper has carried a report by the Associated Press of Pakistan, the government-controlled news agency in that country. The report quoted Sharif saying, “It was not possible to talk on everything in such a short time…the Indian prime minister said he wanted to take things forward, I also expressed the same desire.”
The APP report said both leaders had a friendly exhange of conversation and were particularly warm. It further pointed out the significance of the meeting given increased and regular hostilities between the two countries in terms of border skirmishes and breakdown of talks over the Kashmir issue.
The News International newspaper – Another popular daily, The News International also reported on the meeting between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris. But the report was devoid of any opinion and dwelt plainly on the meeting.
“Both the leaders appeared to be in a friendly mood and there seemed great warmth during their interaction while sitting on the same sofa.Talking to the media persons after the meeting, Nawaz Sharif termed his chat with Narendra Modi positive and said talks were held in a pleasant atmosphere,” the report said.
Geo TV – One of Pakistan’s leading television news channels, Geo TV carried a report on its website titled ‘Nawaz upbeat over talks with Modi at Paris summit’ in which it said the Pakistan premier appeared enthusiastic post the meeting. Although Sharif did not comment on what the two leaders actually spoke about, the report quotes him saying that it was important for both countries to keep positive sentiments for each other.
“During the meeting, PM Modi expressed the desire for cordial ties with Pakistan. ‘We wish to improve the situation in connection with Pakistan,’ Narendra Modi said. PM Nawaz Sharif reciprocated PM Modi’s welcome gesture with these words: ‘Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence with neighbours’,” the report said.