Why in News?
- Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest triggered protests across Pakistan, leading to a political crisis.
- Imran Khan and his PTI party have been challenging the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif since being ousted from office.
- Khan’s clashes with Pakistan’s military have further complicated the political landscape.
- Economic crises and natural disasters have contributed to the unpopularity of Sharif’s government.
“The Pakistan Army’s more openly direct control of the country’s foreign and security policies may, over time, shift Pakistan’s approach toward Afghanistan further into a policy framework that seeks to counter Indian influence there,” the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report ‘Pakistan Political Unrest‘ this month.
Analysing the current situation in Pakistan, it will not be an exaggeration to say that Pakistan is in a state of mess, the economy is in ICU, the politicians are at war and the people are crying for help. It is not the first time when Pakistan’s economy is unstable, so the question that arises here is why this time it becomes a more talkative thing. The simple answer to this question is that it is not just unstable but nearing collapse. But what led to this situation in Pakistan? Let’s dig deeper to find out the answer.
Challenges For India
- Escalation of Cross-Border Tensions:
- The political crisis may lead to a rise in cross-border tensions, particularly along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.
- Pakistan-based militant groups may exploit the internal instability to carry out attacks in India, posing security challenges.
- Compromised Regional Security:
- Instability in Pakistan could undermine regional security dynamics and intensify existing conflicts, such as those related to Kashmir.
- The crisis may divert Pakistan’s attention from counterterrorism efforts, potentially enabling terrorist groups to operate more freely.
- Impacts on Peace Process:
- The political crisis could disrupt any existing peace processes or dialogues between India and Pakistan, hindering efforts to resolve long-standing issues.
- Nationalistic sentiments and public pressure in India may reduce the government’s flexibility in engaging with Pakistan constructively.
Opportunities For India:
- Diplomatic Leverage:
- Pakistan’s internal turmoil may provide India with an opportunity to strengthen its diplomatic position on matters concerning regional security.
- India can leverage Pakistan’s crisis to highlight concerns about cross-border terrorism and promote international pressure on Pakistan to address these issues.
- Counterterrorism Cooperation:
- International partners may be more willing to collaborate with India in combating terrorism emanating from Pakistan, recognizing the urgency to address shared security threats.
- Enhanced intelligence sharing and cooperation could aid in curbing cross-border infiltration and preventing terrorist activities.
- Regional Power Projection:
- India can demonstrate its ability to maintain stability and handle regional challenges effectively, contrasting with the internal strife faced by Pakistan.
- Strengthening regional alliances and partnerships, particularly with countries in South Asia and the Middle East, could enhance India’s position as a responsible regional power.
- Pakistan’s political crisis poses challenges and opportunities for India in terms of regional security and bilateral relations.
- While the crisis may escalate cross-border tensions and compromise regional stability, it also provides India with diplomatic leverage, opportunities for counterterrorism cooperation, and a chance to engage in constructive dialogue.
- India must carefully navigate these dynamics, balancing its security concerns with the pursuit of regional stability and the resolution of long-standing disputes.