Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sharif's overture to peace

With the confirmation of acceptance of invitation by Pak premier Nawaz Sharif to visit India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister - designate Narendra Modi, Pak Premier has made it clear that he wants to improve relations with India and establish peace in the region. Though there is still not any clarity about Sharif's agenda of visit to India or any bilateral talk with Indian Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has given very positive signal by responding to Modi's invitation very positively and his attendance at the swearing-in ceremony of Modi on May 26 will a fillip to peace process between the two neighbours. Nawaz Sharif has taken very bold step to visit India and attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister designate Narendra despite resistance of hardliners, Pak army and ISI. Jama-Ud-Dawa boss Hafiz Saeed, who is the mastermind of 26/11 attack on Mumbai, has openly opposed Sharif’s visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi. The acerbic speech against Pakistan during the electioneering by PM designate Narendra Modi is known to all. It is also well-known that Modi's BJP is known to polarize the majority community in its favour in India by speaking against Pakistan during election time. Narendra Modi did it very successfully. If Narendra Modi wants to project himself as a liberal leader after winning the elections with massive mandate, why did he go all out against Pakistan during electioneering for beheading of the two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani soldiers? At that time it appeared that the moment Narendra Modi would form the government at the Centre, he would give order to Indian army to do tit for tat against Pakistani soldiers posted on the border on their side. Prime Minister designate must know that the people of the nation have very quickly understood that his party BJP just does opposite in the government to what it does while in opposition. Though it is a very good move to invite all the leaders of saarc nations to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM designate Narendra Modi, overenthusiam may prove to be detrimental to national interest. It may be possible that the army the most powerful in Pakistan may have given green signal to Nawaz Shaif to visit India at this auspicious occasion so that a message could go across the world that Pakistan is very much interested to improve relations with India. As far as personal interest of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in improving relations with India is concerned, his record has been positive. But the question here arises how far he can go towards improving relations with India without the active cooperation of Army, ISI and militant organizations in Pakistan. Army has always been the most important voice in Pakistani establishment irrespective of who rules there. Pak army has always been supreme, no matter army or civilian rule is in place there. India must always be wary of Par army because it was Sharif who was Pak premier when despite the creation of euphoria over the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's bus ride to Lahore in 1999, Kargil war was imposed on us by Pak army, though we defeated them convincingly. And as a consequence of it, army staged a coup and Nawaz Sharif was deposed. So, the governments of India and Pakistan must not create any euphoria over Sharif's visit to India and be always alive to the developing situation.

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