Manmohan can change Indo-Pak equation
Friday, 31 July 2009, 10:44 Hrs | 6 Comments
"He is now about to change the Indo-Pak strategic equation if the politicians on both sides care to listen to him," an editorial in the Daily Times said, noting that Manmohan Singh had "proved his political stature once again".
"Despite platitudes about Singh being a 'weak' prime minister, he has proved once again that he is indeed the 'paradigmatic' leader after Jawaharlal Nehru," said the editorial, headlined "Singh's statesmanship".
Holding that India "owes its new stature in the world to him" for the economic reforms he initiated in 1991 as finance minister, the editorial said that Manmohan Singh could now bring about a paradigm shift in sub-continental ties.
It noted, in this context, that "many people in Pakistan have framed their view" of India-Pakistan relations "on cue from" Manmohan Singh.
"At the same time what Pakistan has done to help India in the post-Mumbai phase makes it clear that insinuations from some quarters in India about the state's involvement were far from true," the editorial said,
It added that it was "this kind of attitude" that Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counter Yousuf Raza Gilani had "tried to counter by showing statesmanship" by their July 16 joint statement at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
"The Cold Warriors in India should take heed from what Singh has said. Indeed, the brave statesmanlike initiatives of the Pakistani and Indian leaders should be applauded," Daily Times contended.
Dawn wrote in the same vein, noting that Manmohan Singh had "attempted a delicate balancing act" in his speech in parliament Wednesday by taking on his critics and denying any change in India's foreign policy.
"Essentially," Manmohan Singh had "argued that the joint statement reflected his opinion that Pakistan, in the absence of the composite dialogue, should not claim that it cannot take action against transnational terrorist groups simply because the dialogue is on hold", said the editorial, headlined "PM Singh explains".
Asking whether Manmohan Singh's critics had "won and forced him to back away from what appeared to be an attempt to improve ties with Pakistan", the editorial replied: "Not necessarily."
Praising the prime minister's speech, it seems that he is still holding out one hand to Pakistan while trying to fend off his domestic detractors with the other, Dawn said.