New Delhi, July 26: With Pakistan heading towards a hung Assembly, India is watching in apprehension as the neighbouring country sees a change of guard. There have also been allegations that the Pakistan military helped cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s PTI. Acknowledging the all-pervasive role of the military in Pakistan, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Thursday, “It was completely predictable. For the past year, we have been hearing that the military wants a change, they want to get rid of Nawaz Sharif and his party and that they see Imran Khan as the most pliable potential.” (Catch Pakistan Vote-Counting LIVE Updates Here)
While PTI has been racing ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N and PPP, Tharoor said, “Imran is without majority by himself. He’ll depend on independents and small parties’ support, almost certainly MMA _ which will follow military instructions _ which means if he does things which military considers out of line, support can be pulled.” Elaborating on how he thought the scenario would play out to the Pakistan military’s liking, Tharoor said, “In those circumstances, they will get an acceptable face as PM even an inspiring one while making sure that he doesn’t get out of hands, doesn’t get too independent. So this is a perfect result for the Pakistani military.” (Also read: US Raises Doubts Over Fairness of Pak Elections)
As far as Indo-Pak relations were concerned in the coming days, Tharoor didn’t mince words in saying that the military decided the stance to take vis-a-vis. “Relations with India have always been privilege of the Pakistan military. They decide the red lines for any civilian government; whether Nawaz’s, Zaradari’s or Imran’s, ultimately nobody can cross red lines of the military. So, I don’t think it’ll see very much change.” Voting in Pakistan general elections was held on Wednesday and counting is still underway amid allegations of rigging, which the election commission of the country has trashed.