Pakistani newspapers splash UPA’s electoral victory

May 17th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Islamabad, May 17 (IANS) The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) victory in the Indian general elections made front page news in the Pakistani media Sunday, with at least one newspaper saying “disparate groups of voters prescribed a middle path” under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “care”.
“Indian voters choose middle path”, said the headline in Dawn.

“Dr Manmohan Singh looked set on Saturday to become India’s prime minister for a second successive term after disparate groups of voters prescribed a middle path under his care, rejecting both the left and the rightwing brand of politics. They gave him just enough seats in parliament, however, where his Congress party would have legitimacy but not an absolute majority,” it said in a despatch from its New Delhi correspondent Jawed Naqvi.

With the “emphatic abbreviation” of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s tally in the month-long April-May polls, “the voters’ decision augurs well for India’s troubled relations with its neighbours, particularly with Pakistan”, Naqvi wrote.

He noted in this context that Manmohan Singh “rarely used an aggressive word for Pakistan even in the face of the grave of the November (2008) massacre in Mumbai. The next step would be some gesture from Islamabad of seriously pursuing the plotters of the brazen attack”.

“Congress wins election, Singh to remain PM: India votes for hope; rejects religion, caste”, the headline in Daily Times said.

The UPA’s victory had boosted hopes “of a stable government that seeks extensive economic reforms and better ties with Pakistan”, an agency report in the newspaper said.

“Pakistan would top the foreign policy agenda of the new administration, with the US expected to renew calls for reduced tensions to help stabilise the region,” it said.

The News carried a similar report, headlining it “Congress-led alliance wins Indian election”.

It also highlighted the fact that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had stressed that Manmohan Singh would remain prime minister “amid widespread speculation that he could step down in favour of Sonia’s 38-year-old son, Rahul Gandhi, who was the star campaigner for the Congress.

“India’s Congress to pick allies after election win”, said the headline in the online edition of The Nation.

The UPA, “toasting a sweeping victory in a general election, began choosing on Sunday a small group of allies to support the coalition and focus on reviving a slowing economy”, a report in The Nation said.

“In a country where unwieldy coalitions were becoming the order of the day and hobbling policy, the electoral verdict this time means Congress will call the shots in coalition building rather than being dependent on the goodwill of regional parties,” the report added.

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