The Indian Election & its Implications for Pakistan

Islamabad – May 29, 2014: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend the inauguration ceremony of India’s new prime minister in New Delhi, earlier this week, was appreciated by participants at Jinnah Institute’s roundtable titled ‘Looking Forward: the Indian Election and its Implications for Pakistan’. Attended by prominent analysts, civil servants, former diplomats and senior journalists, the roundtable took stock of recent developments on the India-Pakistan bilateral front.

Over the course of the two hour discussion, participants reviewed statements by India and Pakistan on the recent visit and highlighted the importance of raising Pakistan’s concerns in future bilateral discussions. Discussants also noted that Pakistan’s foreign policy outreach will continue to be influenced by the developments in the country’s internal security environment; prospects for economic recovery and improved governance. It was agreed that progress on all challenges facing the country would be essential drivers for our future engagement in the region.

Participants also noted that progress on improvement of trade relations between India and Pakistan was one area where forward movement could be expected. However, participants were of the opinion that a timely resumption of an uninterruptable and uninterrupted composite dialogue was necessary for constructive normalization of Indo-Pak relations. In conclusion, participants agreed that Pakistan needs to closely watch developments within India with a new government in New Delhi.

The roundtable was chaired by Jinnah Institute President and former Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman, and attended by former foreign secretaries Humayun Khan, Salman Bashir and Riaz Khokhar, ambassadors Aziz Ahmad Khan, Khalid Khattak, Shafqat Kakakhel, Arif Kamal, Sarwar Naqvi, Fauzia Nasreen, AyazWazir, ex-military officers AVM (R) Shahzad Chaudhry, Lt. Gen. (R) Talat Masood and senior journalists Mariana Baabar, Zahid Hussain, Farrukh Pitafi and Arifa Noor.

Coverage: The News, Express Tribune, Dawn, Business Recorder