Pakistan has been in a state of crisis since mid-August 2014 due to anti-government protests led by Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri. Sameer Patil, associate national security fellow at Gateway House, comments on Pakistan’s deteriorating situation and its impact on the India-Pakistan bilateral.
“Protests in Pakistan, which began in mid-August 2014, have produced an opportunity for the Pakistani Army to play a more dominant role in the country’s politics, jeopardising democratic institutions in Pakistan. For now, the National Assembly has supported Nawaz Sharif in the ongoing crisis; the Army too has ruled out the possibility of a takeover.
However, with Prime Minister Sharif’s position weakened considerably, his government is unlikely to have its say on issues such as tackling the Taliban threat or managing relations with India. This will allow the Army to play an assertive role in decision-making regarding foreign policy and security issues.
Until the situation stabilises, India is likely to limit its engagements with Pakistan, thereby stalling any progress in the bilateral. The evolving situation along the Line of Control and the International Border is also an important element for India to consider because it will have a significant impact on the security situation in the Kashmir Valley. While Prime Minister Modi continues to build positive relationships with other countries, the future of the India-Pakistan bilateral does not appear promising.”
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