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‘Pakistan’s Internal Crisis Is Deepening But They Are Caught In Their Own Trap’

An olive branch from Pakistan, not the first one of its kind from the prime minister of that country with of course the usual caveats about Kashmir. In this conversation on The Gist, TCA Raghavan, former high commissioner to Pakistan (2013-15), draws on his experience and understanding of our western neighbour to explain the reasons underlying the latest peace offer. Raghavan points out that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is probably reflecting the view of his brother, former PM Nawaz Sharif, and that of his party the PML-N. The country is bankrupt, coffers are empty, the IMF is playing hardball on bail outs and forex reserves have fallen steeply. Plugging into the Indian economy would help but India policy is hostage to the army and the deep state. Sharif had to make a clarification on Kashmir after earlier acknowledging that wars with India had only hit his country. His demand that India restore Kashmir’s statehood is a statement that hardliners would have insisted upon, even though there’s nothing they can do to reverse it. Raghavan suspects the Pakistani government is at the crossroads, should it bite the election bullet now as Imram Khan is demanding, or will waiting give the economy time to heal and better their prospects. Tune in for more in this conversation with Ambassador TCA Raghavan.

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