15 June, 2021

Don't Expect Radical India Policy From Likely Pak PM Imran Khan

The terms of engagement that Imran Khan will offer will be no different from those of the past: dia­logue under the shadow of calibrated terrorism and greater focus on issue resolution than building co-operative mechanisms through trade and connectivity.

Imran Khan
AP Photo
Don't Expect Radical India Policy From Likely Pak PM Imran Khan

Pakistan: 2008, 2013 and now 2018—ano­ther election, perhaps another government. But will things really change in the country domestically or in its external orientation? Or will khaki continue to be the colour of the country as it always has been, except for a brief opportunity after the decisive defeat of 1971, which a charismatic leader squandered, or a fleeting moment in 1998, which flattered only to deceive when a gentlemanly army chief, to the chagrin of his officers and troops, decided to follow the democratic principle and put in his papers?

The election campaign and process has been dark, vicious and violent. It has been symptomatic of the nature of Pakistani politics since the 2013 national elections, which witnessed Nawaz Sharif’s party, PML(N), sweep Punjab and consequently, given the province’s overwhelming weight in all aspects of Pakistan’s national life, comfortably form the federal government; Sharif became prime minister for the third time. The Zardari-Bhuttos remained confined to Sindh while Imran Khan did well to gain a...

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