Fallout of Pakistan’s political situation could affect India

The political situation in neighbouring Pakistan is very volatile, and India needs to remain alert. The recent assassination bid on former prime minister Imran Khan signals Pakistan’s inexorable descent into chaos; a fall that many fear could result in another bout of martial law. The attack, during a protest rally held by his party – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – near Wazirabad, came in the midst of Imran’s ongoing confrontation with the army and its powerful spy agency, ISI. It is a known fact that the army yields immense power in Pakistan and no civilian leader in the history of Pakistan has challenged the army like Imran Khan is doing now.

Khan has dubbed the military generals “traitors and looters.” Ironic as it may seem, Khan came to power in 2018 with the tacit support of the military establishment. In fact, he was then called the puppet of the army. But he soon fell out with the Rawalpindi bosses, the price for which was an ignominious exit from power in April this year. He became the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to have been removed from office through a no-confidence vote. Since then, the PTI chief has been quite strident in his criticism of the army and the ISI. Though the arrested assailant, who confessed to the police that he wanted to kill Imran as he was misleading the people, claimed that he was acting alone, there are suspicions about a larger conspiracy. The attack brought back bitter memories of the 2007 tragedy when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack during a political rally. It still remains an unresolved case. India needs to be on its toes and keep an eye on the developments. The Pakistan army might try to provoke a situation along the LoC to divert the attention of its public.