US media sees peace opportunity in Nawaz visit

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: Highlighting the importance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend Narendra Modi’s inaugural ceremony in New Delhi, the US media reports on Saturday saw an opportunity for peace in the South Asian region. The Washington Post, called the Pakistani and Indian leaders getting together at the swearing-ceremony as marking a ‘historic first for the two often hostile neighbours’. A dispatch in The New York Times noted that the ‘mutual gesture’ of Indian invitation and Islamabad’s attending Monday’s ceremony at the prime ministerial level ‘may mark a turning point in the relations between the two countries, which have been particularly frosty since early 2013’. The United States, meanwhile, has expressed support for increased Pakistan-India engagement, with a State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki saying earlier this week ‘we welcome increased engagement between India and Pakistan and their leaders.’ In their reports on the South Asian development, the American newspapers also referred to long-running tensions between the two nuclear power neighbours over Jammu and Kashmir. The reports also noted that Modi is seen as being strong enough to go for a peace effort with Pakistan after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide election win this month. 

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