Pakistan media hails India-Pakistan NSA talks as win-win

NSA meet

The surprise meeting between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan was held in Bangkok on December 6 away from the public gaze and prying eyes of the media, but the talks predictably generated high-decibel coverage in both countries, with leading newspapers splashing it on their front page.

While some sections in the Indian media viewed the meeting as Pakistan falling in line, the Pakistan media largely viewed it favourably, barring some sections which saw it as India stepping down to discuss Kashmir. Pakistan’s leading daily, ‘Dawn’ reported the meeting as ‘India rows back to discuss Kashmir in surprise NSA talks’. The report went on to link India’s perceived climb-down to the recent electoral defeat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in Bihar. It said, “The ‘candid and cordial’ meeting between Pakistan’s recently appointed 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.”

In a more balanced report, The Express Tribune called it a win-win for both countries. Quoting an unidentified official, it said: “The official adds that the Bangkok meeting is a ‘win-win’ situation for Pakistan and India. The talks covered issues concerning both sides. The ice-breaking NSA talks will pave way for a visit of India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan this week.”

Another leading daily, ‘The Nation’ reported the meeting as ‘Pakistan, India on the table in Bangkok’. The report said: “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. This meeting, which was followed by a joint statement, was agreed on by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when they met in Paris last week. Bangkok was chosen as it was a convenient location for both sides.”

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