Pak Media Keeps a Close Watch as India and Israel Bat for Bonhomie

Here’s a look at how Pakistani media covered the Modi-Netanyahu equation.

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PM Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening. 
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Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi finishes his visit to Israel on Thursday, the Pakistani media and the government has not shied away from closely watching over the two countries’ bonhomie.

According to a report in The Express Tribune, Pakistan officially does not comment on bilateral visits of other heads of governments and states, but has been tracking developments in Modi’s Israel visit since it can have serious implications on strategic stability in the region.

Here’s a look at how Pakistani media covered the Modi-Netanyahu equation.

Dawn

Referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's call for united support for "oppressed Muslims in India-held Kashmir' amid Modi's Israel visit, an editorial in the Dawn opined that both the right wing governments in both countries have a shared history of keeping 'restive populations in check'.

Titled 'Indo-Israeli embrace', the editorial drew parallels between India's attitude towards Kashmir and the Israel-Palestine dynamic.

The editorial finally noted that the Indo-Israel bonhomie could provide an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight the Kashmir issue with Muslim-dominated countries like Iran and others.

The Nation

Yet again drawing from Khamenei's statement, the editorial in The Nation titled 'Breaking Silence' welcomes Iran's support for Kashmir. The fact that India has aligned itself with Israel means that it 'stands with an enemy of the Muslim-bloc', said the editorial.

However, the editorial infers that Khamenei's statement is most likely to have come as a retaliation to the increasing friendship between Israel and India, which it clearly views as a threat.

Also, the fact that Iran is at polar ends with other Muslim-dominated countries in the Gulf belt isn't helping its case much.

The Express Tribune

The editorial in The Express Tribune brutally criticises Pakistan's foreign policy, in the face of India's comparatively positive one. Drawing comparisons between both countries' policies, the editorial says that while India has been 'changing the shape of the envelope', Pakistan has been clamouring for human rights organisations to take note of the Kashmir crisis, to no gain.

The editorial then points out the country's tumultuous relationship with all its neighbours, save China, with whom shares a very small part of its border.

Noting how the country's foreign policy 'mostly and expensively concerned with crisis response', the editorial notes that as long as the country is engaged in border management, foreign policy will remain a distant dream.

The Daily Times

A traditional supporter of the Palestinian cause, Modi's decision to skip visiting Ramallah, the home of the Palestinian Authority, speaks volumes about the government's support to the conflict-ridden country, notes an editorial in The Daily Times.

Viewing the defence agreements between the two countries only as Modi's blatant blind eye towards the Palestinian struggle, the editorial adds that Modi could have used his diplomatic clout to influence Israel to 'weaken its hold' over occupied territories.

The newspaper ultimately says that it stands in support of the Palestinians, as both India and US fail to pressure Israel.

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