India on vigil in Pakistan crisis

  • World
  • Sunday, 30 Jul 2017

INDIA is keeping a close watch on the developments in Pakistan where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned after he was disqualified by the country’s Supreme Court from holding office.

While there was no official reaction from New Delhi since it is an internal matter of Pakistan, a source said the events in Islamabad were being closely monitored as well as by security agencies in the country.

It was becoming quite clear to India for some time that Sharif was not in control of the situation and his position was weakening by the day ever since his family members were named in the infamous Panama papers.

The source said Sharif’s exit from the corridors of power in Islamabad would have virtually no impact on India-Pakistan equations since he had very little say in matters concerning India. It is common knowledge that Pakistan’s policy on India is formulated by the all-powerful Pakistan Army while the civilian government merely executes it.

For all his shortcomings, even Indian officials acknowledge that Sharif was keen to strengthen trade and economic ties with India but the army would not allow him to go ahead with various proposals he had in mind.

He had also established a good equation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the Pakistan premier visited New Delhi in May 2014 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the NDA dispensation.

The two leaders sprang a surprise on the whole world when Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistan on his way back home from Afghanistan in December 2015 to attend a function in Sharif’s family. People in both India and Pakistan were very hopeful that Modi’s visit would open a new chapter in ties between the nations.

However, Pakistan-based terrorists yet again succeeded in their evil design of stalling attempts by the two leaders to revive the bilateral dialogue by carrying out a deadly attack on the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

Since then, the accident-prone ties between the two neighbours have gone from bad to worse with Pakistani troops violating the ceasefire on the border on more than 200 occasions. Sharif was apparently kept out of the loop by the army on almost every critical issue concerning India.

Many say he had no prior information on the Pakistan military court’s decision to award a death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, holding him guilty of espionage and undertaking terror activities.

Despite being fully aware of the domineering role of the Pakistan army in the neighbouring country, India has repeatedly ruled out opening channels of communication with the Garrison Headquarters in Rawalpindi. “We know the ground situation in Pakistan where the army calls the shots and even controls various anti-India terror outfits but we remain committed to strengthening democratic forces,” the source added. — The Statesman/Asia News Network

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