06 December, 2020

Foreboding Of Gloom

Pakistan foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan's anti-India stance may upset ties, says J.N. Dixit

Foreboding Of Gloom

PAKISTAN Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took time over choosing his Cabinet. In India, the maximum curiosity was naturally about Pakistan's next foreign minister. Sharif made a rather unexpected and unusual choice: Capt. (retd) Gohar Ayub Khan, son of the former Pakistani president, Field Marshal Mohammed Ayub Khan. The point to note: Gohar Ayub Khan has the Army high command's blessings—and is a hawk on India.

For a while, there was speculation that Sharif would keep the key foreign affairs portfolio. Given the turmoil in Afghanistan, the uneasy relations with Iran and India, and tensions in Pak-US relations, it was expected that he would choose someone who wasn't prejudiced. Sharif also had to pay heed to other demands: the foreign, defence and finance ministers had to be acceptable to President Farooq Leghari and, more importantly, to Pakistan's Army—and also the US.

Besides former minister of state for foreign affairs Siddique Kanju, the other names doing the rounds were that of former finance minister Sartaj Aziz and Sahabzada Yakub...



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