Soon after Imran Khan’s historic victory speech, critics immediately raised serious concerns that why Khan’s friendship offer to India was not taken as a treason.
Nawaz Sharif sympathisers argued that PML N Quaid was branded as a traitor due to his urge of improving ties with India. Following are the differences between Khan’s friendship offer to India and Sharif’s agenda regarding Indo-Pak relations.
1. First of all, PM-elect Imran Khan has never been alleged of pursuing personal business interests with India, contrary to Sharif who met Indian steel tycoon Jindal soon after attending Modi’s oath-taking ceremony and also mysteriously held a table talk with the tycoon in Murree. These meetings raised eyebrows of not only Pak establishment but also common Pakistani.
2. Experts say that advent of Dawn leaks was the turning point when Sharif regime lost support from the establishment, on the other hand, Khan never desired and seemed to pursue such policy of humiliating armed forces.
3. Nawaz Sharif also openly negated the partition of the subcontinent by openly arguing that Indians and Pakistani share the same culture, food and even God, explicitly contradicting Quaid-e-Azam. That statement prompted harsh criticism even from the sections who always supported Sharif like veteran journalist Majeed Nizami.
4. Kulbhushan Yadev saga also perturbed the security forces and the nation. Who can forget the joint presser by the then info minister Pervez Rasheed and DG ISPR Asim Bajwa where Pervez Rashid failed to answer some pertinent questions regarding India spy-cum terrorist Kulbhushan Yadav. Subsequently, Nawaz was alleged of deliberately not raising the issue on any international forum, amid Indian rhetoric of cross border terrorism and Hafiz Saeed.
5. Intentionally bypassing establishment during important strategic decisions regarding Indo Pak relations, consequently creating the civil military rift which resulted into political and economic chaos. No one can deny the civil authority in any ideal democracy, but meaningful consultation with stakeholders is a prerequisite of establishing civilian writ. Everyone knows how seriously White House consults Pentagon on not only defense but also foreign relations.
Nawaz Sharif has been a blue eyed boy of the established for decades, one should ponder that why he suddenly lost support from the concerned quarters and why Khan is enjoying the establishment’s suppor.
It shows that the army never had issues with friendship with India but they certainly would resist Indian dominance in the name of relations. It would definitely be interesting to see that how Khan goes with India and establishment, keeping in mind the rough roads we have been going through, but one thing is definite that sanity should prevail, and both countries should kick off meaningful dialogue.
(The writer is Freelance Journalist Pursuing Ph.D. in Communication Studies)