A ‘new Modi’ fast repairing his image!

Business community terms Nawaz-Modi meet ‘very positive’

LAHORE: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking quick decisions and clever moves to help repair his image at home and abroad while trying to promote himself as a “changed, progressive, tolerant and new Modi”.

His recent visit to Pakistan on eve of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, also wedding of his granddaughter, was termed as a “photo-session meeting’ by rigid Shiv Sena political party, the political ally of Bhartia Janta Party (BJP) in Maharashrta.

Business community of Pakistan has welcomed the Modi-Nawaz meeting while terming it “very positive” to remove tension between both the neighbour countries and a move towards peace and promotion of bilateral business.

Rahmatullah Javed, former secretary general of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there should be cordial relations between neighbouring countries because we canot change our neighbours. He said both state heads meeting would help promote business and trade and change the fate of 1.2 billion people of South Asia. When asked whether the meeting was just an attempt by the Modi to repair his image or actually a goodwill gesture? He said politicians and state heads take such moves for their interest, however, Pakistan must take a step ahead and welcome this move like the way it is…. Our foreign secretary has clearly said that there are going to be comprehensive talks from the middle of January, its very positive, Rahmatullah said.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association group leaders and former chairman Gohar Ejaz has called the Nawaz-Modi meeting ‘very positive’. “The region with 50 million Million of cotton or 50 per cent of world cotton production is 10 % of the world US$800 billion cotton textile trade,” he said seeing the development very positive.

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also welcomed the meeting and expressed his hope to see positive discussion on all issues including removal of Non-Tariff Barriers, a longstanding demand of the traders’ community.

The business community also welcomed the presence of Indian Steel industrialist Sajjan Jindal at the wedding ceremony of Nawaz’s granddaughter. They said businessmen always play their role between for promotion of trade activity and if Mr Jindal is playing any such role for ensuring peaceful coexistence, this should be welcomed instead of considering or taking it negatively. However, Pakistan should prepare to take maximum benefit out of the development and talks ahead.

A struggling BJP is also trying to undermine and overcome of influence of Shiv Sena factor. In July 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party had criticised its own ally Shiv Sena, while advising it to focus on the civic problems instead of needlessly commenting on national issues. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had criticised Modi-Nawaz meeting.

Indian business community, actors, intellegencia had criticised the extremist activities of BJP ally and criminal negligence of the ruling party putting the Modi and his cabinet in hot waters. Now critics are terming positive in India as well and Pakistan.

On the other hand, political analysts are terming it a political stunt of Modi in order to promote his soft image. However, they believe that pubic pressure would help contain Modi to keep his stance and stand by his peace initiate.

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