Islamabad: India’s election results made headlines in Pakistan on Thursday, with the media keeping a close watch on the ruling BJP’s electoral fortunes by providing comprehensive coverage of the initial trends and reactions.
The results of India’s general elections are very significant for Pakistan as the formation of the next government in New Delhi will determine the course of Indo-Pakistan ties, which were pushed to a new low after the Pulwama terror attack.
‘Modi’s BJP secures early lead as vote count under way’ was the headline of the leading newspaper Dawn as the counting of votes began in India.
The newspaper’s website had a separate section for providing live updates about the results of major candidates and their reaction over initial trends.
The Express Tribune carried an agency story ‘Modi on the brink of sweeping Indian elections’ and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 292 of the 542 seats available, well over the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of Parliament.
An outright majority for Modi’s party will likely embolden Hindu groups, who want to assert their dominance in the country, to the alarm of minority Muslims, the story said.
Geo TV, however kept the coverage simple by providing data only on the initial trends.
Sate-run Radio Pakistan in its South Asia segment carried a story titled ‘Modi’s BJP leads in early India vote count’.
Almost all Pakistani news channels and newspapers also provided details of the coverage by the Indian media.
In April, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said he believed there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settle the Kashmir issue if Modi’s party BJP wins the general elections.
Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.
Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was handed over to India.