Sharif strikes sobering note amid India-Pakistan tensions: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, June 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif struck a sobering note while the Pakistani parliament stuck to the “old script” by passing resolutions against India amid “shrill exchanges” between the two neighbours, a leading English daily stated on Saturday.

“After the shrill exchanges between Pakistan and India in recent days, calm and sense were finally restored on our side by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sober and well considered address at the Envoys Conference of Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and ECO (Economic Cooperation Organisation) regions,” the Daily Times stated in an editorial headlined “Nawaz speaks”.

“The basic thrust of his remarks was directed at India to ‘behave’ itself. He said he had been dismayed by the recent irresponsible and imprudent statements by the Indian political leadership, which vitiate the atmosphere for the goals of regional peace and stability.”

The editorial pointed out how Sharif made it clear that “Pakistan would not abandon the moral high ground or its quest for peace, but this should be reciprocated and our overtures for dialogue acknowledged”.

“He made it crystal clear at the same time that Pakistan would protect its vital interests at all costs, something any self-respecting state would be expected to do,” it stated.

The editorial has come during a time of constant verbal exchanges between the two countries. Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore warned that the Indian strikes against insurgent camps in Myanmar were a message to all countries, including Pakistan and groups harbouring “terror intent” and that India would strike at a “place and time” of its choosing.

Prior to that Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a speech in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, blamed Pakistan for spreading terrorism and fear in India, saying “Every now and then Pakistan keeps disturbing India, creates nuisance, promotes terrorism and such incidents keep recurring.”

He also said that said the establishment of Bangladesh was a desire of every Indian citizen and that was why Indian forces fought along with the Mukti Bahini, thus creating a new country.

The Daily Times editorial said that Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif “reiterated the current received wisdom that externally sponsored terrorism and extremism posed grave threats to a secure and prosperous Pakistan”.

“Dilating on the long standing Kashmir issue, he underlined Pakistan’s traditional stance that the UN Security Council resolutions be implemented, something he had also urged on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Tajikistan on the sidelines of an international conference,” it pointed out.

At the same time, the editorial lamented that while Sharif was busy lowering “the rising temperature of recent days between Pakistan and India through his sensible stance, both houses of parliament carried on with the other script and adopted unanimous resolutions condemning India’s recent statements with the usual underlining of determination to defend the country, etc”.

“Surrendering to the fashion, former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, the architect of Kargil who sabotaged the Nawaz-Vajpayee rapprochement, could not resist the temptation to add his two cents, belligerently asking for a tit-for-tat response to India (as though we have not had enough of that already in the past days),” it said.

The newspaper is of the opinion when the ongoing spat between the two countrie settle down, “soberer minds will be needed on all sides to remind their peoples of the dangers of such verbal gymnastics in a nuclear-armed subcontinent”.

“The sobering reminder of the shadow of the mushroom cloud that looms over Pakistan and India should give pause to all ‘super patriots’ on all sides to weigh their words carefully in a fraught neighbourhood,” the editorial concluded.

Leave a Reply