Musharraf’s quitting won’t impact India-Pakistan dialogue: analysts

August 18th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) India’s strategic analysts feel that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation Monday will not directly impact the India-Pakistan peace process.”At the official level, there will be no direct impact as Pakistan’s civilian government has not said anything against the composite dialogue process that started in 2004,” said Commodore (retd.) C. Uday Bhaskar, former deputy director of defence ministry sponsored think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

“However, there is anxiety as to how the autonomous factors in Pakistan, including those responsible for the Kabul (embassy) attack, respond,” he added.

“Will they (the autonomous factors) step up anti-India movements? Who will control the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency)? The anxiety will remain unless clarity is reached in Pakistan about the relation between the army and the civilian government and between the army and these autonomous factors,” Bhaskar told IANS.

The Indian Army did not read too much into Musharraf’s quitting.

“Musharraf had become irrelevant to the peace process as a civilian government is in place,” a senior army official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Echoing this opinion, Brig. (retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, said: “In the long run, dealing with a civilian government in Pakistan is in India’s best interest.

“The Pakistani Army has a stranglehold over the country’s polity and it has not changed. The peace process between India and Pakistan has been stagnant for the last one year or so and will remain so for another six to eight months till there is a new government in place in India (after general elections),” Kanwal maintained.

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