The India-Pakistan ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) is holding, raising hopes that this could lead to an overall upturn in testy ties between South Asia’s arch-foes. Yet the signals from Pakistan are mixed indicating that all stakeholders are not on the same page.
While the civilian government of Prime Minister Imran Khan cannot dare to chart out an Indian policy without the green signal from the army, its recent flip flop can only mean that the Pakistan army itself is divided on the issue. A section of that country’s powerful military is not backing army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
While Kashmir continues to be the main stumbling block in normalizing ties between the two countries, Afghanistan has also come into the picture now that the US and NATO forces are leaving. Pakistan wants to make sure that India’s wings are clipped in Afghanistan. Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that India’s presence in Afghanistan was too large. Qureshi was echoing what Pakistani diplomats have been saying for years.
“We have seen the media reports on this. We firmly believe that it is for the Afghan people to decide their partners and the size of that partnership. India has brought electricity, dams, schools, health clinics, roads, and community projects to Afghanistan.