NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and its outcome today evoked a mixed response with BJP seeing a "glimmer of light" in the bilateral relationship while Congress termed it as neither historic nor a breakthrough.
Regional parties had a different take with the ruling PDP and opposition National Conference of Jammu and Kashmir welcoming the dialogue while Shiv Sena did not share its ally BJP's enthusiasm on the issue.
Hailing the outcome of the meeting between the two leaders in Ufa, Russia, BJP spokesman M J Akbar said Pakistan has for the first time accepted India's "definition" of terrorism. He told reporters that it has provided an opportunity to take forward the relationship between the two countries.
"A word, an adjective is being used to describe the meeting which is 'breakthrough'. The reason for this is very clear... Perhaps there is a glimmer of light in the bilateral relationship. Perhaps there is an opportunity of taking the relationship forward," Akbar said.
For the first time, he said, Pakistan has accepted India's "definition of terrorism that terrorism in all its forms is unacceptable". That is a change from the "nuanced game" Pakistan has played on the subject by differentiating between "good and bad terrorists", he said.
He also highlighted that Pakistan has agreed to expedite the trial of the accused in Mumbai terror case after pursuing for seven years its "barely disguised" policy of protecting terrorists charged with the crime.
"An important concession has been made by Pakistan," he said. Pakistan has also accepted the voice samples, recording of conversation between terrorists and their Pak-based handlers during the terror attack, provided by India, he said.
However, Congress was quick to dismiss BJP's enthusiasm on the issue. Former Union Minister Anand Sharma said the outcome of the meeting was a dilution of India's long-held positions on terrorism and commitments extracted from Pakistan on the issue.
Accusing the Modi government of inconsistency in dealing with Pakistan, he said all the steps of Prime Minister Modi on Pakistan have been ill-advised as he has no clear policy on how to deal with it.