Why did Nawaz Sharif rake up Kashmir issue in his speech after return to Pakistan?

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Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif marked his homecoming with a mega rally in Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan. The 73-year-old Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) supremo raised the Kashmir issue while addressing his party workers.

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Pak Army chief General Asim Munir and Imran Khan.
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Pak Army chief General Asim Munir and Imran Khan.

Sharif, who ended his self-imposed exile in London, also said there was a need to have an effective foreign policy and ‘good relations’ with neighbours, without mentioning India.

What does Nawaz’s comments on India mean?

During his stint as Pakistan prime minister, Nawaz Sharif had reached out to India twice: in 1999 during ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore bus trip and the second instance when Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking all the risks went to Pakistan on December 25, 2015. But in both the instances, the initiatives were scuttled by the de facto ruler, the Pakistan Army.

In 1999, the Lahore bus initiative was scuttled by the Kargil war and the second one was the terror attack on Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016.

Sharif has made the right overture by saying he wants to reach out to India. But the fact is, he needs to get permission from the Pakistan Army before making any new initiative with India.

Does Pak Army want to make Nawaz Sharif the PM again?

Pakistan Army is not comfortable making Nawaz Sharif the next prime minister of the country. The veteran leader will add to the votebank of his party PML(N). But both the Army and Sharif have an agenda to keep Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who is in jail, permanently locked up over there and ensure that the cricketer-turned-politician does not come back to power.

Although the Pakistan Army is not comfortable with Sharif as the PM, but it needs the PML (N) chief to put down Imran Khan.

What do Palestine and PoK flags at Lahore rally mean?

During the rally at Minar-i-Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif said he is going to initiate dialogue with India on Kashmir. India is not interested in any kind of dialogue on Kashmir except on cross-border terrorism.

After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A, there is nothing left to talk with Islamabad on Kashmir. Sharif is being delusional when he makes such statement that he is going to ‘resolve’ Kashmir as there is nothing to be resolved. There is peace prevailing in the Kashmir Valley and the region is full of tourists.

Right now, Kashmir is not looking at Pakistan for any kind of relief. The PML(N) chief is just reaching out to his domestic audience like all his predecessors used to do. Neither Nawaz Sharif nor the civilian leadership of Pakistan is important. It is the Pakistan Army which is important and is not at all interested in lowering down cross-border terrorism in Kashmir.

Read More: Why did Nawaz Sharif rake up Kashmir issue in his speech after return to Pakistan?

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