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Modi’s visit seems to have cemented India-Israel ties, says Pakistan media

Pakistani news channels have hosted talk shows in which Modi’s visit to Israel has been discussed extensively, while many newspapers have carried political commentary on the trip.

world Updated: Jul 06, 2017 22:20 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Pakistan,Benjamin Netanyahu
Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu at the Community Reception Programme in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.(PTI)

The Pakistani media has kept a close watch on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s groundbreaking trip to Israel, with analysts debating the impact of the visit on Islamabad.

News channels have hosted talk shows in which the visit has been discussed extensively, while many newspapers have carried political commentary on it.

Influential English language daily Dawn, in an editorial on Thursday, commented: “Amidst the tumult in global affairs, the Indo-Israeli relationship has emerged as a steady bilateral alliance, surprising to some, while others have been watching the ties between Tel Aviv and New Delhi grow over the decades.”

The newspaper said the visit seems to have cemented the alliance between the two nations as the warm embrace between Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on the tarmac of Ben Gurion international airport on Tuesday showed.

Dawn noted the Indians had come a long way from their past policy regarding Israel and Palestine. India established relations with Israel as late as 1992, while former Palestine Liberation Organisation chief Yasser Arafat enjoyed great rapport with Indira Gandhi, calling her “his sister”. The editorial said those days of mutual support are “clearly” gone and “Modi has no love lost for the Palestinians”, as a meeting with Palestinian leaders was reportedly not on the cards.

Dawn’s commentary tried to draw parallels between Israel’s “atrocious behaviour” towards Palestinians and India’s towards Kashmiris.

“Perhaps the Indo-Israeli embrace has provided an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight the Kashmir issue with Iran and others, in order to build world opinion against the atrocities unleashed upon both the Kashmiris and Palestinians,” it said.

A similar theme was followed by other Pakistani news organisations. In his television programme, political commentator Farrukh Pitafi stated Islamabad was curious as to whether Israel would also help India “crush” the uprising in Kashmir.

Another commentator stated the visit suggested that Pakistan needed to take advantage and renew relations with Iran and other Arab countries in the region.

Meanwhile, Modi’s visit has reportedly sparked an interesting reaction in Iran, which has enjoyed cordial relations with India, but is at daggers drawn with Israel.

First Published: Jul 06, 2017 13:16 IST