Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the UN was everything his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s was not, said a Pakistani daily .
An editorial “Modi at the UN” in the Daily Times said: “Modi continued his charm offensive in the west with a speech to the UN General Assembly that was everything Nawaz Sharif’s was not.”
Modi began with a quaint reference to India’s ancient Vedic culture, a running theme in his speech.
He took the opportunity following this to rebut Nawaz Sharif’s speech from the day before.
“He (Modi) was correct of course; the General Assembly is no longer a platform for serious discussion, it is a way for heads of state to build an image for their country and themselves,” said the editorial.
It noted that Modi’s speech, with its references to Indian spiritual traditions was “written for the US public to consume, while Sharif’s bland, narrow focus was everything that western publics feel is wrong with Pakistan – an obsession with India, desire for territory and a total lack of charisma and likeability”.
It went on to say that the Indian prime minister’s speech did not focus on Pakistan except by implication.
“Also not lost were his references to India’s large population, a way to position India as a major global market…Climate change and poverty eradication, alongside terrorism, made up Modi’s three main talking points.”
The daily said that it is a credit to Modi’s political acumen that he understands how important western public opinion is to shaping policy.
“India’s insistence that Kashmir is a ‘non-issue’ bilaterally reflects Pakistan’s continuance of supporting jihadi proxies to achieve strategic goals. Workable solutions exist and have been discussed but Kashmir remains unresolved, while Pakistan’s support for proxies has cost it dearly in lives and money. Neither position is tenable but India’s appears less so, partly because it de facto controls the territory.”