Islamabad: Pakistan and India are back to square one, a leading Pakistani daily commented today as media here gave front-page display to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the UN which questioned Islamabad's seriousness in resolving the Kashmir issue by raising it at the world body.
Widely circulated papers including Dawn, The News International, The Express Tribune carried Modi's speech as front-page lead. Right-wing newspaper The Nation also published it as main lead.
The coverage was mostly factual and the papers focused on its main Pakistan-related theme and quotes.
The address was interpreted as an answer to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's similar address at the UN General Assembly in which he had indirectly accused India of derailing the peace process and urged the UN to play its role in Kashmir.
The Nation said the Indian Prime Minister in his first speech to the UNGA, questioned Pakistan's seriousness in resolving the decades-old Kashmir dispute by raising it at the UN.
"Raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries," Modi had said in an obvious reference to Sharif's fervent call for a UN-supervised plebiscite to settle the dispute which has remained a source of tension between the two nuclear-armed nations.
The News International said Modi during his address stressed that Pakistan will have to create terrorism-free climate for resumption of negotiations.
Influential and moderate Dawn reported that Modi expressed his country's willingness to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan, but "without a shadow of terrorism".
"The Pakistan and India are back at a place from where they have to build from scratch," the Daily said in its editorial.
"And if internal Pakistani dynamics, such as Mr Sharif's tenuous ties with the security establishment, have contributed to the responses today, India's desire, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to act as an 'emerging superpower' has also deterred dialogue between the two countries," it said.
The Express Tribune reported that Modi speech was a response to Sharif's frustration over unilateral cancellation of dialogue by India. However, Modi lined the peace process with the "seriousness" of Pakistan.
The paper also highlighted Modi's reference to "shadow of terror".