Chances of a military takeover in Islamabad — as Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari reportedly fears — are remote, feel Indian officials. At the worst, the current political instability in Pakistan would have a negative fallout on the endgame in Afghanistan.
“The instability in Pakistan and the domestic politics would have its impact on the situation in Afghanistan,” said official sources. Also, according to them, Pakistan’s internal tensions are the reason behind its silence on issues such as denial of sanctuary to militant groups.
Zardari had sought help from the US in secret to avoid a possible coup. At the behest of Pakistan's ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have conveyed Zardari’s request to the US.
But the matter became public and the government became embroiled in the controversy.
Pakistan army chief general Ashfaq Kayani had reportedly taken up the issue with Zardari and PM Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The growing clout of former cricketer and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan has further contributed to the insecurities of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N.
Regarding Khan, officials said he is “being steadily built up” by various sections, including the Jamaat and some elements in the Pakistan Muslim League-Q.
“In strategic terms, dealing with a neighbour like Pakistan was always uncertain...but we'll work with who we can,” an official said.
“Between 1989 and 1999, Pakistan threw everything at us,” sources said, pointing to efforts at internationalising the Kashmir issue. “But India still grew at 9%,” the sources said.
“Now they have a strong judiciary and civilian voices are heard on the streets.”