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WILL IMRAN KHAN DRAW AMERICA CLOSER TO INDIA?

Khan’s anti-Americanism

Khan’s anti-Americanism is what drew people of Pakistan to vote for him. He certainly cashed on this sentiment by repeatedly emphasizing how Pakistan’s honor was crushed by a supposed ally that “did not trust us and actually made our army kill own people, doing suicide attacks on Pakistani civilians.”

In the 2012 video of  Julian Assange interviewing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan when Assange asked Khan about the power factions in Pakistan- “Is it the ISI, the army, the Supreme Court?” To this Khan had replied that the problem in Pakistan is an entrenched status quo. People want a change and that is how I am the new face- breaking all the shackles of dynasty politics in Pakistan.

Imran Khan, PM in the making

Then a rookie, nobody probably took Imran seriously. But today after six years, he manages to become the most talked about man in Pakistan.

Well, this trend “of a newbie PM/President” is on the rise. On a lighter vein, this rookie tag along with three wives is what Imran Khan and Donald Trump have in common. But will there be a commonality in addressing terrorism too?

The “establishments” role in establishing Khan is an open secret. So is there any reason to believe that there will be some change in Pakistan’s foreign policy? Or it would still advocate Pakistan Army’s  – good terrorist bad terrorist theory, which has turned Afghanistan, Baluchistan & Kashmir into a graveyard.

 At present, U.S. security assistance to Pakistan has been suspended since January over the question of Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism. And also the Financial Action Task Force, the global money-laundering watchdog, has placed Pakistan on its “gray list,” a sign of the country’s weak counter-terrorist financing controls.

For U.S. leaders, improvement in U.S. – Pakistan ties will be possible once a clear commitment to tackling terrorism becomes more apparent. This will surely also rank as priority number one for Indian interlocutors as well; and for Afghans, too. Unfortunately for all three countries, it’s also the issue that Khan, a civilian politician widely described as the military’s “favored” candidate this time around, would be least likely to confront.

 For over a decade now, Khan, he has opposed the United States’ controversial drone campaign in Pakistani regions bordering Afghanistan. He constantly challenges Pakistani leaders for allowing the country to be used as a “hired gun” by the United States. Most recently, when the Trump administration announced it was suspending security aid to Pakistan until the country took action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, Khan called to “immediately remove excessive U.S. diplomatic, nondiplomatic, and intelligence personnel from Pakistan” and demanded that ground and air routes for U.S. military supplies to troops in Afghanistan be shut down.

With all this as the background, there are a few new situations that may emerge which could alter the geopolitical dynamics in this region.

China’s worst nightmare: US-India military-to-military and intelligence cooperation.

Hardening Alliances: India-America and Pakistan-China (all-weather and taller than the Himalayas alliance).

Stronger Russian-Chinese-Pakistani Camp.

In all of this India definitely isn’t sleepwalking. It is aware that it is a key component of the US grand strategy, that it shares a huge trading bloc with China, that Russia needs India to counterbalance China’s increasing influence in the Central Asian region and lastly that Pakistan is not a trustworthy neighbor.

Only time will unfold, “if and how” will a change of regime next door effect India, and whether the US will go all out to woo India to maintain global and regional primacy.

01 Aug 2018/Wednesday                                                                       Written by Afsana 

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