Pakistani media on Monday welcomed the surprise NSA-level Indo-Pak talks in Bangkok, terming it “a thaw in the frosty relations” between the two neighbours and a “side-effect” of BJP’s rout in Bihar polls last month.
The ‘candid and cordial’ meeting between Pakistan’s recently-appointed national security adviser (NSA) retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval is being seen by political pundits as a ‘side effect’ of the Bihar elections, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP was humiliated, newspaper Dawn said.
It further said the joint statement issued after meeting shows “New Delhi rowing back from its recent position and agreeing to discuss Jammu and Kashmir in the otherwise familiar mix of issues”.
The paper said it was not difficult to gauge the future course of talks between the two countries.
“Who would carry forward the constructive engagement? That was not clear, setting off curious surmises.”
“Allowing (external affairs minister) Swaraj to head future talks would involve the external affairs bureaucracy, which is not Modi’s preferred method of working,” it reported.
The NSAs met for four hours in Bangkok on Sunday and discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other bilateral issues; they also agreed to take forward “constructive” engagement between the two nations.
News International termed the Bangkok meeting as “breakthrough”.
“Barely a week after a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Paris, there was an important breakthrough in Bangkok on Sunday, when the National Security Advisers (NSA) of the two sides met for a lengthy meeting,” it reported.
The paper also said the meeting held at a third country resulted in a much-needed agreement where both countries agreed to “carry forward the constructive engagement”.
Right-wing paper The Nation also supported talks in its front page lead.
“After months-long bickering between Pakistan and India, their national security advisers and foreign secretaries secretly met in Bangkok yesterday and discussed peace and security issues between the two countries,” it reported.
The Express Tribune -- under the headline “Top security aides spring Bangkok surprise” -- reported that the foreign secretaries and NSA of Pakistan and India met “in a surprise development that is likely to thaw the frosty relationship” between the neighbouring nations.
The Urdu press also gave front page coverage to the meeting, hoping that it will pave way for more talks