Bridging the India-Pak chasm, literally

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Islamabad, June 24 (ANI): An India Pakistan joint press conference is a rarity. Nobody can recollect when it happened last. So quite naturally there was a lot of excitement when the media contingent was told that instead of the usual circus of who holds the press briefing first and who gets the last word in, this time there would be a joint press briefing and it would be well-drafted.

Two questions were to be given to each side, very much like the White House Presidential press interactions where everything is scripted other than knowing what the questions are going to be.

But, of course, this was an India-Pakistan briefing. Nothing but intense speculation and rumour-mongering till the briefing that is. And, even after that the spins and twists and turns follow.

The Pakistan Foreign Office had set up two lecterns, each with a small national flag and two large flags behind the podium where the Foreign Secretaries were to speak.

The press briefing ran late. Restless TV cameramen then made a suggestion that the smaller flags might obstruct their shot of the secretaries and so should be shifted. Then a helpful Indian foreign service officer moved the flags closer together leading some to comment that the chasm between the two countries was being reduced, literally.

One Pakistani journalist even commented, "dono mulko ke darmiyan jo faasla hai vo media ne paida kia hai, agar is media ko hatayen to faasla kam ho jaye." (the distance/chasm between the two nations has been created by the media, if the media was to be removed, the two countries stand a chance to come closer).

Pakistanis sure have a way with words! By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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