Major Pak foreign policy initiative towards India unlikely to take place soon: Experts

Islamabad, June 8 (ANI): Although newly-elected Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif had made some positive overtures to India soon after his party won the elections, senior officials of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have said that no major foreign policy initiative towards India is likely to take place soon.

According to sources, Sharif's inner party circles as well as foreign policy-making institutions in Pakistan have advised him to keep slow the process of normalising relations with India, reports The Dawn.

PML-N officials said that it had been decided in party meetings that Sharif will focus on tackling domestic problems, such as the energy sector.

Former foreign secretary, Shamshad Ahmed Khan, who is considered close to Nawaz, also confirmed that the premier has been advised from all sides that he should not show haste in making any major shift in policy connected with relations with India.

Nawaz's desire to rush for improving ties with India is likely to be further blunted when senior military officials brief him sometime next week, about the security and military situation, including the situation on the eastern and western borders, the report said.

In India, the Congress-led government is facing a lot of domestic pressure and the opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has adopted a very strident approach towards Pakistan, experts say. They say that in this situation, the Indian government will not go out of its way to normalise relations with Pakistan, the report said.

Security expert Hassan Askari said that the only major policy shift expected from the Congress government is that perhaps it will agree to resume dialogue with Pakistan, which they suspended in January following an incident on the Line of Control (LoC).

Ironically, Pakistani and Indian leadership is diametrically opposed as far as the agenda of potential talks is concerned. The countries have a completely different set of priorities in dealing with each other, the report said.

A senior PML-N leader said that Sharif is clear that he wants to normalise relations with India in the spirit of the Lahore declaration. This would, in practical terms, mean that Kashmir has to be given primacy, after which come the issues of nuclear security, followed by a set of issues ranging from trade, to people-to-people contact and other disputes like Sir Creek and Siachen. (ANI)


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