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Indo-Pak diplomatic row reflects internal struggle in Pakistan, says activist Hoodbhoy

Ties between India and Pakistan were hostage to the pre-election situation in Pakistan, says the nuclear physicist

world Updated: Mar 20, 2018 00:06 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Pakistan,Pervez Hoodbhoy,India
Pakistani Rangers and Indian Border Security Force personnel take part in the daily beating of the retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan Wagah Border Post.(AFP File)

The latest row involving diplomats of India and Pakistan reflects the ‘sad situation’ in Islamabad in which the army is seen to be determined to discredit former prime minister Nawaz Sharif before elections, according to nuclear physicist and activist Pervez Hoodbhoy.

Sohail Mahmood, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, has been recalled for consultations following allegations of harassment of the country’s diplomats in New Delhi and reports of Indian diplomats in Islamabad facing similar treatment.

Hoodbhoy, who is in London for a seminar organised by the Democracy Forum on the economic and political power of the military and its impact on democracy, told journalists on Sundaythat ties between India and Pakistan were hostage to thepre-election situation in Pakistan. Elections are likely to be held in Pakistan later this year.

He said: “The India-Pakistanrelationship is hostage to Pakistan's current internal pre-election situation, especially the hardline being adopted by the army and its determination to discredit Nawaz Sharif, who is identified with a soft line towards India.”

“The harassment of envoys is a reflection of theinternal struggle playing out. The attempt is to discredit Sharif’s party for being soft towards India, by using the pretext of corruption”, Hoodbhoy, who is also known for his views on current affairs in Pakistan, added.

Pakistan’s army, he said, was facing pressure after the country was placed in the ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force for failing to fulfil its obligations to prevent terror financing in February.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 21:33 IST