So after five days of deliberating, Nawaz Sharif has decided to accept the offer and attend Narendra Modi’s inauguration. Pakistan’s English-language newspapers – or at least those that have published an editorial – are agreed that this is a good thing. And not only that, it represents a victory for Mr Sharif. They also point out that a BJP government in India, and one elected by a landslide, will not be running scared of a hard religious right demanding a tougher stance.
As Dawn says:
Nawaz Sharif’s decision to accept the Indian invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi on Monday makes eminent sense. It shows the Pakistani prime minister’s courage in the face of stiff opposition from some right-wing religious parties.
The News points out that the last government in New Delhi was constrained by its fragility, unable to take the bold steps necessary for better relations with Pakistan:
This does not in itself mean that Modi is ready to take ties with Pakistan to the next level. For Nawaz to accept, however, required a certain amount of bravery since Modi is viewed by many not just here but in the world as the architect of the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat.
The Nation is disappointed there will only be a 30-minute meeting, but at the same time says it is encouraged that neither side is overinflating the claims made for it:
In the past, both sides wanted to resolve the big issues before they started trading. But this time it might be different. A thirty minute meeting might not achieve what the Prime Minister has in mind, but it will be a great way to steer the discourse to focus on the small issues that can work towards improving the Pak-India relationship.