Sunday, July 29, 2018

Effect of Imran Khan’s Win on India

The elections for Pakistan National Assembly are over and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Taharik E Insaf (PTA) party is the largest party in PNA. This election was marred in controversy and the role and interference of Pakistan Army were and have been questioned.

It is said that Politics is the “Art of Making Impossible into Possible”, however, such things do not apply to Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is what the Army of Pakistan desires becomes possible. Naila Inayat, a media person from Pakistan had tweeted way back on 27 May 2018 as follows:-

Elections will be held on July 25. Imran Khan will become the next PM of Pakistan and how:

Naila is a media Person and not an Astrologer but she could predict this because there was nothing new to predict. It was well known that come what may, Pakistan Army will make sure that Imran becomes Prime Minister. To say that this is the first time in the history of Pakistan that power transfer between two  Civilian governments will take place is a fallacy because as usual, the civilian government of Pakistan has been the Civilised Mask of the Pakistan Army and this time (In Imran’s victory) that is profoundly known.

Imran Khan is an ex-cricketer and an Oxford-educated person. With this background, as expected, at the start of his political career he appeared to be a balanced and liberal politician. However, with passing time his views have been changing and at present he appears to be a fundamentalist, supporter of the imposition of strict Sharia law in Pakistan and someone who is hardliner towards India. Has he actually become hardliner and fundamentalist or it's just a façade to garner the support of Pakistani Army and Mullas to grab the power can only be told at a later date.

Imran Khan, having smelled the Power has been making all the right noises about India Pakistan Relations. These utterances are positive at this moment but early utterances of him alone are not adequate to gauge the actual response of the new government towards India. It seems a positive start but how much he and his government can do in coalition politics (he does not have a simple majority) that too under the shadow of the actual taskmaster, the Pakistan Army, cannot be predictable.

 Many thinkers in India are of the view that Imran Khan’s rise is a bad omen for India. They believe that his win is going to compound India’s difficulties. Imran Khan’s pre-poll hardline attitude and anti-India rant could be the possible reason for their belief.

It is not possible to predict as to how would new regime be for India and our thinkers may be right that his rise is bad for India, however, there is another angle independent from Imran Khan’s rise that must be considered. That angle is, for last many decades, it’s the Pakistan Army who is ruling the roost. It makes no difference as to who is the Prime Minister or whether that nation is under Marshal Law, it’s the writ of Pakistani Army that alone runs in Pakistan.

The civilian government stays in power as long as it tows the Army’s line and when that does not happen, Pak Army finds ways and means to get rid of that government. In the heart of the matter is the power that Pakistani army wields and the Industry – Economic activities that it controls. There is a whole book written by Aaisha Siddiki titled “ Military Inc, Inside Pakistans Military Economy” devoted to documenting these deeds. If Pak Army lets go the power, it would mean the loss of all those business empires and they can’t afford that. The actual power would be wielded by Pak Army even after Imran becomes Prime Minister.

India was always in a dilemma when Nawaz Sharif was in power. A sovereign government is supposed to talk to another sovereign government and cannot talk to the that nation’s Army. Every time when it was felt that relations between India and Pakistan are making positive progress, the Pak Army and ISI used to engineer an attack or terrorist activity in India and the dialogue used to fizzle out.

The India Pakistan Relations are likely to remain at the same rock-bottom level even after Imran Khan becomes Prime Minister. There is no level lower than rock bottom. A hardliner Imran would make Pakistani population’s life miserable but his becoming Prime Minister is not likely to have any adverse impact on already adverse relations between India and Pakistan. 

If he succeeds in inducing Change of Heart in Pak Army, the relations might just improve for better but any further downfall of relations is unlikely. It may be possible that with he in power and having the same ideas as Pak Army, terrorist activities may see an increase on Indian soil but we have over three decades of experience of sending those terrorists to meet the final arbitrator, the God almighty and India is ready to deal with it.


  1. The write-up is very factual.
    It is well written

    1. Thanks for your comments. I had to write it because of the noises that Imaran Khan winning the election would be bad for India. I felt Imaran does not matter as the constant factor in Ind Pak relations is the Pak Army and hence the article.

  2. Sir, stated matter of factly. ........but what should be India's response. ...........should we continue with the present logjam or take this as an opportunity to try some positive overtures.

    1. India should wait and watch. It is premature to get excited or for that matter disappointed. We should stick to present position till new leads emerge