by Jyotika Teckchandani

Pakistan is holding general election on July 25. What is the significance of this election for India? Does this contribute to the peace and stability in south Asia?

The international community is taking special interest in this particular election because of “judicial coup”, which took place couple of months ago with a consequence of removal of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. It is widely believed that the military establishment is behind this judicial coup to teach lesson to any democratically elected government that harbour a good intention to improve Pakistan’s relationship with India.

Both Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested upon their return from London and are currently behind the bars without much possibility of getting bail in the near future.

Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan hoping that the event of his arrest will prove to be boon for his party in the upcoming election. By this, he wanted to generate a sympathy wave throughout Pakistan. However, it appears that it is unlikely to happen. The political grapevine is that the military establishment had teamed up with the party of Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, and will manage somehow to prevent Nawaz Sharif from coming to power again.

The emerging pattern is that neither Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) nor Pakistan Peoples Party will get majority. While more seats will be added to the kitty of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf - all thanks to the support of Pakistan military. A weak elected executive serves the interest of military establishment well. 

India has to deal cautiously with the emerging situation in Pakistan. A weak elected government is not in Indian interest. Nonetheless, India must show a flexible approach in dealing with Pakistan, including being open to the idea of opening channel of communication with Pakistan military at a time when china is posing a threat to India’s position in South Asia. India should not allow Pakistan to play in the hands of China, and must remain focused on strengthening of democracy in the neighbouring country as a democratic Pakistan is in India’s interest.