They say if you know your way in the corridors of power, there is nothing you cannot achieve. Well don’t know about a common Pakistani, but some Indian businessman sure took this seriously. Yesterday the Pakistani media erupted with the news of a high profile Indian businessman’s visit to Murree. So, what was the fuss all about?
a) Jindal, the Indian businessman had only been granted visa for Lahore and Islamabad.
b) He was not any ordinary guest, he was the guest of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Seems like Mian Sahab just cannot make it out of hot water, or perhaps he does not want to. Well, whatever the case may be, for now nothing Nawaz Sharif is doing is going in favor. From Panama to Dawn Leaks, anything that the premier touches turns into trouble. Here is what we know so far know about Jindal’s visit to Pakistan.
Jindal is a leading businessman from Indian and enjoys cordial relation with the Indian Prime Minister Modi. He is a close friend of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The closeness at both ends makes Jindal a channel of communication, not to mention that both Mian Sahab and Modi also enjoy cordial relation, after all Modi did visit Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter wedding in Lahore. Political pundits are calling the visit as back channel diplomacy. Our question, was it really a good time for that. Given Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir with the recent ban on social media, the optics were not good.
Jindal was issued visa for only Lahore and Islamabad. Pakistan government has a very strict visa policy for foreigners, especially Indians who are required to report to special branch on their arrival. With ambiguity surrounding whether Jindal was a state guest or not, the Foreign Office maintains he was only issued visa for two cities. The visa number being 769903, issued on April 25, 2017.
Why was Jindal meeting Nawaz Sharif in Murree? We know that the Sharif family generally spend their summers in the camp office of Murree and Nathiagali. But how come a back channel diplomatic arrangement was not held at a more secure place. While the PM House in Islamabad would have had special devices recording what was being said, the private residence in Murree lacks any such. Hence what happened in Murree, stayed in Murree.
PTI has moved a resolution in Punjab against the meeting. The resolution, submitted by Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, said that a three-member delegation, led by Mr Jindal, was taken to Murree under official protocol. The opposition leader said the meeting became a matter of serious concern since the government had tried to keep it “secret”.
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