ibnlive » Chat

3 pm May 13, 2013

Can Nawaz Sharif make a difference to India-Pakistan relations?

Nawaz Sharif is very much seen as an insider of the anti-India Punjabi establishment of Pakistani politics. So will it be easier for him to steer Pakistan to path of friendship with India? Which issues are likely to be resolved more easily and which ones are likely to be stumbling blocks for both sides? Talk to seasoned former diplomat KC Singh who has been a part of a lot of such parleys. You can catch more from him @ambkcsingh on Twitter.
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12 questions answered | 1 question pending
  • Is there any hope for an improvement in India-Pak relations under the new dispensation? Would Imran Khan have been a better option for India to try and improve ties with Pakistan? Asked by: c4conscience
  • KC Singh What is the phrase, known evil is better than the unknown! I think Imran would have been too cavalier and unpredictable. India Pakistan relations need predictability considering that two elements render them uncertain: terrorism and Pak army.
  • Is the new governemt in pakistan brings a hope to India pak peae process.. Asked by: Rohit
  • KC Singh A cautious optimism would in order and not a Bhangra!
  • Mr Vajpayee and Nawaj sharif were moving in some direction to bring peace between the nations..until kargil happenend..is it not just fooling oirself if we hope that the new PML-N will bring a drastic change in the sitiutaion.. Asked by: Vimal
  • KC Singh Navaz has suffered exile, isolation and even exclusion from the,political process in 2008. It is worth trying to see,if he has matured or not. Essentially his maturity will be tested internally in how he redefines his relations with the army and judiciary!
  • we can hope but not expect that relations will improve untill the new goverment in paksitan takes some action. Asked by: Jawahar
  • KC Singh I agree. I am not a sceptic nor a peacenik. I am and I hope so are most people in this country a realist. Yes MFN is one thing they can do. Another is to let Indian consulate in Karachi be reopened, which they have been linking to firstIndia handing over Jinnah house in Mumbai to them and then finding a suitable accommodation. These were all ploys. Finally, some speeding up of action against he 26/11 perpetrators.
  • Considering Nawaz Sharif's background as a businessmen, will he able to speed up trade relations between India & Pakistan by getting rid of trade barriers? Asked by: Bhumish Khudkhudia
  • KC Singh I said so tv last night that a grant of MFn status by his government could send a very positive signal. That is in any case what he believes in.
  • Why is indian politician relectant to start covert operations in pakistan instead we now will start trade with pakistan which will only benifit them? Asked by: Jayesh
  • KC Singh Clandestine operations can sometimes blow up in your face. Remember US created the Jihadis in Afghanistan to counter the Soviets. The same forces mutated onto the AlQaeda. Am sure we must have some capabilities in all neighbouring nations but their use by a democracy can only be selective.
  • Kargil happened during his period.He had oredred Nuclear testing. All were to throw India to fear.Do we expect a CHANGE OF HEART with NAWAZ ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh I don't think he ordered Kargil. He certainly on President Bill Clintons's urging made the Pakistan army withdraw as they were anyway retreating. In fact that was the issue that spoilt relations between him and Musharraf. He wants a Kargil enquiry now and may use it to discipline the army. Thus on Kargil we need not be suspicious about him.
  • The IRAN_PAKITAN_INDIA gas pipeline will remain a pipe dream or has a better Chance with NAWAZ taking over reins in ISLAMABAD ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh The relevance of the pipeline is diminishing, besides the US pressure against it and the Iranian unreliability in implementing contracts, because the US shale gas that is making US energy independent is effecting the price of gas globally. Even the Europeans are shifting to coal which has become cheaper in US with its power plants shifting to gas. So we must not be static in our energy choices.
  • In the so called refreshing Democracy and new hopes will Malala be back at Pakistan and remain without fear of an attack ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh Hardly likely! The women voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise in the KPK I.e. frontier area .
  • With the Army and ISI still not weakened,even if Nawaz wants an improvement in relation with INDIA,will they allow it to Happen ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh That is a critical issue. Navaz maintains that his victory is an endorsement by the people of Pakistan of a constitutionally restricted role for their army. I don't think the mandate is about that. That is a presumptive conclusion. Navaz has to work out a new balance of power between the civilian gov and army. In 1998 he sacked one army chief Gen Karamat and the the following year tried to sack another and we know the result. So does he use muscle again or gradually get the army used to it. That is the issue. And you are right till this is settled it would be foolhardy for India to,assume that he has the army on leash.
  • The Chinese incursions in Ladhak and the HELP the Chinese extend to Pakistan will it see Chinese role in the Indo-Pak relations ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh Chinese have played a role since 1963 I.e soon after the Sino-Indian war. They settled their border with Kashmir with Pakistan, which ceded territory to them, which is just above and West of Siachin. They have since then used Pakistan as a surrogate against India, as they have DPRK against Japan ana S Korea.
  • How will Nawaz balance relations with Afganisthan to reduce Afghan being supported by India ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • KC Singh That is not his top priority at the moment. Their Afghan policy will be army controlled.

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KC Singh
Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs