For over a decade now, Nawaz Sharif has been viewed by many in India as a Pakistani politician who genuinely seeks better relations with India. In a recent speech in London on the eve of his return to Pakistan, Nawaz spoke of the need for an effective foreign policy, ‘good relations’ with neighbours, stating “Pakistan can’t be developed by fighting or clashing with others. I believe in development not in revenge.”
Yet, the three-time former prime minister also referred to the need to ‘resolve the Kashmir issue with grace.’ There are many both in Pakistan and in India who are wondering why Nawaz raked up the issue of Kashmir – is it because he has to do that to keep his own base happy? Or is it because he believes that unless he mentions Kashmir the military establishment will not trust him and that is the price he must pay to return to power?
If that is so then the question arises – What does Gen Munir want when it comes to Kashmir? Is he willing to go down the path of his predecessor Gen Bajwa and seek to improve economic and diplomatic relations with India and if yes will the army rein in the jihadi groups and Islamist parties? If not, then what?