Turmoil in Pakistan could affect peace process with India: US analyst

November 14th, 2007 - 2:37 am ICT by admin  
Speaking in the national capital, Daniel Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia of the Council on Foreign Relations said, “The peace process with India is one that helps Pakistan stay on track internally. But I think there is a good chance that if Pakistan spins out of control, it will not be able to maintain low-level violence along the border,”

“These things are very troubling. So, India has a lot invested in Pakistan’s stability,” he added.

Earlier this week, India and Pakistan reaffirmed their commitment to a nearly four-year military truce on Thursday amidst the beginning of a new series of peace talks.

From Monday, both countries will be holding the second round of Joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism (JATM) here.

Markey feels that the real trouble for Pakistan is the string of blasts which are more likely to take place after the Thursday night Karachi blast in which close to 140 people were killed.

“The opportunity for real obstacle and real trouble as we have seen just in the past several days with this bombings we are likely to see more of these,” he said, adding, “We will lurch from semi-crisis to semi-crisis and if we are lucky the path will still continue. We will get National Assembly. We will presumably get a new coalition, governing coalition that will likely include a PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) and Benazir Bhutto at the centre of it.”

Suicide attacks in Pakistan have become frequent after troops stormed Islamabad’s controversial Lal Masjid that had become the focal point of Islamic radicals and hideout for some dreaded terrorists.

Markey believes that the much awaited transition road to democracy in Pakistan will not be a smooth one.

“I don’t think any transition will be possibly very smooth. But I think this relationship between Benazir and (Pakistan President Pervez) Musharraf offers the opportunity for the smoothest path that we can imagine,” he said, adding, “The alternatives,…say a return of Nawaz Sharif or if Benazir is forced to back out of the country or if Musharraf is forced out would be much less smooth.”

Benazir returned to Karachi on October 18 after she agreed to a power-sharing pact with Musharraf. Another former premier Nawaz Sharif, who had earlier made an attempt to return to the country but was sent packing to Jeddah by Musharraf regime, has vowed to return home later this year. (ANI)

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