NEW DELHI – The recent political scenario in Pakistan and mounting pressure on Nawaz Sharif’s government has begun to perplex Indian government.
India’s leading newspaper, Times of India reported Thursday that if Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister or he loses power by any means, “this could have implications for India in the coming weeks and months, particularly in the security sphere.”
Indian government fears in such a case, the new government would take the time to settle down and in the meanwhile, the foreign policy would be in the hands of army brass in Rawalpindi, fears India.
The JIT has charged the ruling family with perjury, having disproportionate income and living beyond their means. It said Sharif failed to satisfactorily answer most of the questions put to him during his appearance before investigators on June 15.
“He was generally evasive and seemed preoccupied during the interview. The major part of his statement was based on hearsay,” the report said, adding that Sharif remained non-committal, speculative and at times non-cooperative while recording his statement. The report further said Sharif tried to “parry most of the questions” by giving indefinite answers or by stating that “he does not remember, ostensibly to conceal facts”.
According to the Indian paper: “Any move against Sharifs would result in the most obvious coup-like situation, bringing the army back on the frontline of governance, and it’s unclear whether it would want that. In addition, Sharif ‘s patrons in Saudi Arabia might not look too kindly on that, and it would certainly play badly in the US…”
Sharif and his party, PM-N, remain defiant in the face of the opposition’s call for his ouster, with the ruling party vowing to challenge the report.
However, the dominant opinion holds that JIT’s findings have severely weakened Sharif’s position by cutting his avenues of deniability, something which can be a source of worry for India. The outcome of the Sharif investigation and the resultant instability holds out the old red flags -that when Pakistan goes through a crisis, turning the spotlight on India and Kashmir might be a tempting answer.
The report says the government circles in New Delhi seem to agree as they brace for what might turn out to be possible post-Sharif scenarios.