Mixed reactions by Pakistani twitterati to Modi-Sharif meet

Islamabad: There were mixed reactions by Pakistan's twitterati to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday with the opposition describing it as “shameful” and others welcoming the development.

“Shameful how PM Sharif once again appeased India on terrorism while ignoring Indian state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir & in Pakistan,” Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party tweeted following the meeting between Sharif and Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia.

According to Sherry Rehman, president of the Jinnah Institute, the joint statement issued after the meeting is “one-sided”. “We welcome Modi to SAARC Summit, support Sharif in peace moves but statement should reflect Pakistan's concerns too. Right now it's one-sided,” she tweeted. Ejaz Haider, anchor in Capital TV, agreed, tweeting: “#Ufa joint statement has only one takeaway: Mumbai. Everything else already exists.

#VoiceSamples for which there is no #MLA framework.” However, Nasim Zehra, anchor in Channel 24, is of the view that things have changed. “Modi govt takes a U-turn after 1 year of muscle flexing/Pak-bashing, decides to return to dialogue process. NSA talks on terrorism & all issues,” his tweet read.

Zahid Hussain, a journalist, was more optimistic and tweeted: “Welcome development. Indian PM Modi accepts invite for first Pakistan visit.” Fellow journalist Murtaza Solangi reflected a similar view, tweeting: “Ultimately Modi and Nawaz both won the toss. Head said de-escalation and the tail said engagement.”

But pessimism continued to prevail among some sections. “Lets not hype #NawazModi meeting. Not every meeting is a historic meeting. If it is, it reflects a sad sad history,” Adil Najam, a professor of international studies, tweeted.

“PM Nawaz must follow his Foreign Office instincts in dealing with Modi; Indian Strategists are masters of empty postures of Aman & Shanti...” Moeed Pirzada, a TV anchor, tweeted. There were others who reacted to Friday's development with cautious optimism as well.

Columnist Mosharraf Zaidi lauded Sharif for taking a “large political leap”. “PM Sharif has taken another large political leap to try to jumpstart regional normalisation. Hope Pakistan hawks will cut him some slack,” Zaidi tweeted.

Political analyst Raza Rumi is for Track II diplomacy for normalisation of ties between Islamabad and New Delhi. “Official #Pakistan & #India joint statement: Good to see stuff #Track II parleys recommend to respective governments,” Rumi tweeted.

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