Originally Published 2014-05-09 04:53:41 Published on May 09, 2014
There is very little doubt that there would be a change of Government in Delhi from June, 2014. It is also most likely that the new Government will be that of the National Democratic Alliance. The BJP is the largest single party among the NDA constituents who will present the new Prime Minister.
Indo-Pak relations under new Govt
"There is very little doubt that there would be a change of Government in Delhi from June, 2014. It is also most likely that the new Government will be that of the National Democratic Alliance. The BJP is the largest single party among the NDA constituents who will present the new Prime Minister. Notwithstanding doubts expressed that by various persons such as Sharad Pawar, Narendra Modi is most likely to become the Prime Minister of the new Government. His emergence as Prime Minister of India will carry its own message which would reverberate across the continent and even beyond.

An analyst has written that Pakistan has been watching the election scene with considerable trepidation and the prospects of Narendra Modi emerging as the new Prime Minister are causing uneasy feelings among large sections of Pakistan because of his Gujarat antecedents which inevitably trace their origin to Godhra riots. During the electoral process, a few rabble-rousers from the VHP and the Sangh Parivar made some utterances with anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan overtones which attracted prompt action from the Election Commission. The Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi himself had taken strong exception to such irresponsible statements and appealed to them to desist from making such statements.

Narendra Modi has stated that he would run the Government as per the constitution and that there was only one religion for the Government - India First. He also stated that Muslims need not fear him. Modi also stated that he would carry forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foreign policy. He added that he believed in mutual respect for one another and co-operation should be the basis for relationships with foreign countries.

The newly appointed Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit welcomed the statements of Narendra Modi on his approach to Pakistan. Basit said that Pakistan was interested in engaging quickly, comprehensively with the new Government in India.

Pakistan should remember that during the visit to Lahore by Atal Bihar Vajpayee along with an entourage of journalists and other old friends of Pakistan, its Army General Pervez Musharraf was planning the Kargil attack with the presumed approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which led to the Kargil war soon after. Nawaz Sharif rushed to USA to seek the mediation of President Clinton who advised Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Kargil without delay. Nawaz Sharif suffered the humiliation of complying with the advice of President Clinton, but General Musharraf himself went scot free. Soon after, Musharraf carried out a coup and took over power after overthrowing Nawaz Sharif.

There is speculation that following the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Narendra Modi would make an early visit to Pakistan after he becomes Prime Minister. But, is Pakistan in a position to host him?

The reappearance of Maulana Abdul Aziz, an extremist cleric who had earlier failed in his attempt to impose strict shariat law on Pakistan's capital, carries an alarming message for the future of Pakistan.

While Gen. Musharraf is in detention, facing charges of treason, the Red Mosque and madrassa complex in Islamabad was stormed four years ago by orders of Pervez Musharraf. Dozens of people died during the attack but cleric Aziz himself escaped by dressing in burqa. Seven years later, while Musharraf is facing trails of high treason, Aziz is back in full force and busy in rebuilding another marble edifice which would accommodate many seminary students and teachers.

Pakistan is yet to successfully prosecute the accused arrested in connection with the Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008 and thereby show its bona fides in respect of the Mumbai attack.

Stephen P Cohen, who is described as a "guru of gurus", and more importantly a great student of the subcontinent affairs, was in Delhi some time back and he said that many people felt that Pakistan is a failed state and if Pakistan broke apart, millions of Pakistanis would like to go back to their ancestral home in India which would create a huge problem in India. Cohen said that it was outrageous that a man like Hafiz Saeed is being allowed to parade himself in Pakistan. Cohen said that left to him, he would like to send a missile against Hafiz Saeed and went on to say that perhaps Pakistan was too weak to do anything. Pakistan is now struggling with the problem of Afghanistan. Cohen added that the two countries were so different, and clubbed together, they would not succeed in the next two hundred years. Cohen said that India has to deal with Pakistani jihadis as it would deal with any other terrorists and that India is that it has to live with troubles from Pakistan and deal with them as the situation arises.

Would Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif be able to set his house in order before Prime Minister Narendra Modi could plan to visit Pakistan. Does Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif exercise complete authority over the military authorities in Pakistan?. It was known that Gen. Kayani, the previous Army chief of Pakistan was patronising Lakshar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and that he considered him as a strategic asset to be used against India.

The new Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif reportedly visited the ISI headquarters on April 23. The ISI continues with its highhandedness in dealing with the perceived enemies of the State such as Hamid Mir a Pakistan journalist who was shot at recently in Karachi. The open display of the backing of the ISI by the Army chief by his visit to the headquarters was apparently meant to show its full backing of the ISI by the military establishment.

Taking into account all these developments, Pakistan looks like descending into a morass of jihadism and mullah dominance. The Karachi Project headed by Major Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is still very much active and it continues to plan of attacks against various places of India.

The arrest of Abu Jundal and the recent arrest of Yasin Bhatkal have revealed the continued Pakistani backing to jihadi elements who are trained by ISI and Lakshar-e-Taiba and pushed into India for jihadi attacks.

Would Pakistan be able to dismantle the jihadi machine operating under the supervision of the Army and ISI and resume the essential character of a normal state before the prospective visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan?

A perceptive Pakistani columnist has referred to the foot dragging by Pakistan in restoring free trade, after having signed the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement with India. Pakistan's non-state actors do not want trade with India, since they look at trade as "dangerous alternative" to the sacred duty of war. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif who is Punjab Chief Minister had disclosed that the Pakistan Army does not want trade with India.

The columnist goes on to say that the real death of Pakistan is coming gradually to the death of its culture. Pervez Musharraf's decree of 2006 to remove jihad from the text books was ignored by the provinces and the new text books actually make fun of "enlightenment" as an "alien doctrine". Pakistani nationalism is now manipulated by the clergy and the army under the increasing shadow of Talibanisation."
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