Sharif nears deal to allow Pak military to dictate India policy: Report
A report has revealed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is ready to strike a deal with the Pakistani military that will give it the authority to control key policy areas such as relations with India and other countries.
The deal comes in the backdrop of political turmoil in the capital city of Islamabad.
Other conditions of the agreement include a promise of freedom for former president General Pervez Musharraf and the liberty to define the foreign relations of Pakistan with Afghanistan, the United States and India, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The report also said that the Sharif government had earlier agreed to allow Musharraf to go abroad after symbolically accusing him of treason in March but Sharif went back on his promise which resulted in a breach of trust between the military and the current dispensation.
The political chaos in Pakistan and Sharif's weakened status gave the military an opportunity to seek guarantees from the premiere that he will keep his end of the deal, the report said.
Ayesha Siddiqa, an analyst based in Islamabad, said that the development is almost like a "soft coup" and after the deal is signed, Sharif will be reduced to a ceremonial prime minister.
The report quoted government aides as saying that the government is also willing to let the prime minister's brother, Shahbaz Sharif, step down as chief minister of Punjab.
Thousands of protesters led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have been continuing the protest sit-ins outside the Parliament to demand the resignation of Sharif.
The two week-old protests have shaken the Sharif government which has just completed 15 months of its official term.
(Posted on 29-08-2014)