New Delhi, July 29: To be unlucky is to be Nawaz Sharif. Three times he was elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan but failed to complete the term. He was removed by the President first, then by the Army and now the Pakistan Supreme Court found him guilty in Panama Papers leak case and unseated him as Prime Minister.
What will happen in Pakistan no one knows. What course the power politics of India’s cantankerous neighbour would navigate is unpredictable at this moment. Even the observers in Pakistan prefer to keep mum on the latest developments.
Pakistan’s history bears a testimony to the fact that no Prime Minister has ever completed his full elected term. Starting from the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan to Nawaz Sharif the story remains more or less the same. Liaquat Ali was in the office for four years and 63 days while Sharif completed four years and 54 days.
Sharif faced the first unceremonious ouster in 1993 due to a showdown with the Pakistani President and was under pressure from the Pakistan Army. The other incident happened in 1999 when the infamous coup d’ etat by General Parvez Musharraf took place.
And the unlucky fellow is forced to quit the post because of the Supreme Court ruling. The court verdict was based on the fact that Sharif did not disclose asset details of the UAE-based Capital FZE Company from which he received some income, while filing nomination papers for the elections and hence filed false declarations.
With Sharif’s resignation, while Parliament still stands, the Federal Cabinet no longer exists and Pakistan has no Prime Minister, and even has no government.
Sharif’s ouster also heralds an era of political instability that might call for increased interference from the Army. It has been the history that whenever Pakistan faced such disturbances on political level, the Army got a free hand and used that opportunity against India to divert the popular opinion from the internal disturbances.
Pakistan’s very base of existence is built up on its hatred towards India and the history bears ample testimony to this fact. So whenever Pakistan confronted such a political instability, the Army stepped in to build up anti-India hysteria.
After the change of guards in New Delhi in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had initiated ample steps to improving the normalising Indo-Pak relations, Nawaz Sharif was also seriously responding to those Indian efforts. However, the escalation of terrorist activities along the border, the Pathankot attack and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir indicated towards negative results. The Indian Army had to conduct a surgical strike to break the neck of the Pak-sponsored terrorists. However, that did not yield the desired results.
Disturbances in Kashmir Valley and Pak-sponsored cross-border terror acts are the real hurdles in normalising the Indo-Pak bilateral relations. Balochistan, Baltistan, Gilgit and PoK are some of the major issues that could affect the state of bilateral relations between the two neighbours. But the biggest loss would be to the Pakistan’s internal pro-peace3 lobby which has just starting to emerge.
According some defence experts how Pakistan elects its new prime minister would determine the future of the Indo-Pak relations. Sharif has begun his political career with the help of the military. He emerged as a favourite of the military then.
Sharif’s party had won the most seats in the parliament in 2013 elections and is still more popular. His brother Shahbaz Sharif rules the Punjab and it is foregone conclusion that those who rule Punjab rules Pakistan. The Punjab-based anti-India Islamic Jihadi terrorist groups are likely to receive an impetus due to competing power centres in Pakistan Muslim League (PML). And there is no guarantee that Sharif Family will continue its hold over these groups uninterrupted against the background of Supreme Court ruling against Nawaz Sharif.