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'Sharif unlikely to change Pak approach toward India'

May 14, 2013 10:23 IST

Even as there is a sense of positivity over Indo-Pak ties after the outcome of Pakistan polls, a former Pakistani diplomat believes a regime change is unlikely to bring any substantial shift in Islamabad's approach.

Former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani noted this while giving an analysis of the post-election scenario in Pakistan.

"We will have a kind of a hug-hug, embrace-embrace, but no substantial changed attitude towards India," he said.

According to the reports in Pakistani media, Sharif had invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his swearing-in ceremony. But Dr Singh is unlikely to attend the ceremony.

"I think Nawaz Sharif will move to have relatively better relations with India, at least at a superficial level, cricket matches, cultural exchanges, speaking to Punjabis in Punjabi, on the Indian side," Haqqani said in response to a question.

"But strategically, will he say, let's put Kashmir on the back burner and move forward? I don't see that happening. Will he say that we need to actually implement the Most Favoured Nation agreement that the PPP reached, which has been held in a sort of limbo by the military?" Haqqani questioned.

The former diplomat said developments like setting up of Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Kargil war have always contradicted Sharif's intentions of having good ties with India.

Image: Former Pak ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani

Photograph: Reuters 

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