India hopes for the best things to be done after Nawaz Sharif returned to power in Pakistan after a 14-year hiatus. Many analysts think that the strong civilian government can change the future of the nation. The leader has already given a green signal saying a new round of talks will be resumed with India on the Kashmir issue.
Despite all bitterness, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated him on his emphatic victory and did not lose time to invite him to visit the country. India has always shown its spirit to maintain good relation with the neighbouring Pakistan, but at the end of the day, the results are loud and clear to all. Earlier, our soldiers were beheaded on the LoC, and the recent incident – the brutal attack on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore jail – created outrage across the country.
However, India is still hopeful that everything will be sorted out soon. Sharif could bring cheer among the Pak and Indians, who want no war, but healthy relation. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader knows how to win the hearts of the millions, thus said on the first day after victory that the ties with neighbouring countries will be strengthened. He will also hold talks with the US on a number of issues, including drone attacks in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region.
On May 12, 2013 is the biggest day for Sharif as he made his comeback to power in Pakistan after a long struggle. He beat his political rival PPP, Imran Khan, who also bagged few votes due to the tragic incident last week.
It can be noted that Sharif has close ties with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat which has been behind the attacks on Shias and other minorities. Imran Khan, who will sit as the new leader of opposition, has openly extended his support for Islamist forces.
However, Sharif’s absolute victory is very significant for India. Time will tell how he would work to end terrorism against India, but he has to take up the challenge for the new Pakistan government to focus on opening up trade and the economy. He is likely to set up healthy environment for trade with India as he is a businessman and understands his victory is possible because of the commitment for good governance and improved economy.
India has not forgotten the Pakistan’s betrayal. In February 1999, when former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee launched bus service to Lahore, India had expected to sort out the issues. However, in May Kargil happened. Again on November 26, 2008, India suffered one of the biggest terror attacks.
But, Sharif is more mature, less impulsive and more thoughtful. He is a better leader in Pakistan. It may make him more responsible interlocutor for India. India may give him time to feel the pulse of the citizens of Pakistan and India as well.