Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visiting or not visiting India to attend his counterpart Narendra Modi`s swearing-in ceremony is not the issue but Pakistanis need to read Modi`s intentions with political realism, a leading daily said Saturday.
"Pakistanis must evaluate beyond gobbledygook and read his (Modi`s) intentions with political realism," an article headlined `Is Modi the game changer?` in The Nation stated.
"The game that may unfold is beyond party lines and impacts Pakistan permanently. Modi, chastised by many, is a man at the helm. (Nawaz Sharif) Going (to India) or not going is not the issue. Failing to read the script is unpardonable. Every right or wrong step bears enduring significance," the article written by Samson Simon Shara, a retired officer of the Pakistan Army and a political economist and television anchor, said.
"Prime Minister Modi`s objectives are handling terrorism, Kashmir and building a necklace of allies around India for security and development," it said, adding that Modi has shown pragmatism in concealing the ideology of the RSS.
"With his immense energy and motivation he is someone India needed after successive weak central governments. While Pakistan`s political parties are handicapped by sycophants, BJP comes to power with one of the world`s best think tanks, on the principal of `Bharat First`."
Stating that given his record, Modi is likely to hang around, it stated: "Pakistanis would do well to widen their focus beyond the Muslim massacre in Gujarat and look to work with a man who means business."
Regarding India`s wider foreign policy, the writer pointed out the BJP`s manifesto which mentions the formation of a web of allies through multilateral diplomacy to "further Bharat`s best national interests".
"It implies that Bharat could steer away from a Western tilt. This is of concern for the West. China stood by Modi when he was an international outcast and these relations will get a boost when Modi visits China, the elder brother in Eastern culture. The Indian foreign office has made no bones about it."
The writer is also of the opinion that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be a key ally of Modi.
It cited an article published in the Global Times of China May 5, which stated: "The West is afraid that a strongman like Russian President Vladimir Putin will make India really strong and build the country into a challenger to the West economically and politically. The US is particularly upset with the enhanced strategic cooperation among China, Russia and India."
Stating that it was not surprising that Modi invited all leaders of the SAARC countries "as a hegemon", the article said that "Pakistan obliged and paid the cost of not reading the script".
"To convert these challenges into opportunities is a question successive governments in Pakistan have to address," it concluded.