Fuss over Jindal’s visit

THE brief visit of the Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal to Pakistan and his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Murree has become subject of wild speculations and allegations and it seems some circles are trying to misuse the opportunity to exploit political dividends by generating a controversy. That the visit and the meeting made a headline was quite understandable keeping in mind the news hunger of media but the way it is being used to hurl allegations on the Prime Minister and his family is highly regrettable and is reflective of sorry state of mind.
It is known to all that Pakistan-India relations are at their lowest ebb and it is also acknowledged that there was dire need to reduce tension between the two nuclear armed neighbours. Whenever there is threat to regional peace and security, efforts are made through backdoor channels to ward off the threat and create conducive environment for engagement between the leadership of the two countries. This has happened in the past many times and there is absolutely nothing wrong if a common friend of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi tries to play the role of a bridge. Similar back channel contacts were established during tenure of almost all Pakistani Governments including PPP and the military rulers and they often produced desirable results. With this in view, one can ignore Imran Khan and his party leaders for making this an issue as they are novice in diplomacy and statecraft but attempts by PPP leaders to make it a political issue are ironical and reflective of time-serving opportunities. Opposition and criticism apart, countries have their fundamental interests, which should be dear to all but here in Pakistan we keep personal and party interests uppermost in our minds. It is all the more bizarre to cast doubt on patriotism of a person who holds highest executive office of the country. If Nawaz Sharif is not patriot then no one else can claim to be. How and why NS would compromise national interests during a meeting with a foreign personality especially when such meetings take place with full knowledge and clearance of different agencies directly handling national security? The tendency to dub Presidents, Prime Ministers, cabinet members and political leaders as traitors should come to an end if we really believe in democratic norms.

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