OPINION: Will PM Imran Khan play political inning as he played in 1992 World Cup?

In a recent development, newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to PM Narendra Modi seeking resumption of dialogue between the two neighbours.

PM Khan has sought a meeting between EAM Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in September.

In Pakistan, following the general poll on 25 July 2018, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the largest political party as it secured 116 seats in the 15th National Assembly. The PTI’s total number increased to 158 after nine independent candidates allied themselves with the party and with the addition of 28 reserved seats for women and five seats for minorities.

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Interestingly, since the beginning, PM Imran Khan showed a special inclination for India.

The first sign came when he invited former Indian cricketer and now a Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu at his swearing-in ceremony.

 

In his victory speech, Khan said that Pakistan would respond with two steps to any step taken by India for normalisation of ties.

 

Our PM also welcomed the move and hoped for “meaningful and constructive” engagement between the two countries.

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Khan, the 22nd PM of the country can take the India-Pakistan relationship to a new level.

He played international cricket for two decades and led Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup. If in politics too, he keeps up his sportsman spirit, he can surely give a new kick start to Indo-Pak relations.

However, doing the same requires easing tension at the borders.

Instances like Pakistani troops slitting the throat of a BSF jawan (which happened on Wednesday) after fatally shooting him along the international border (IB) near Jammu, will not take the relationship forward no matter how many letters he writes to India.

The previous regime of Pakistan used to do the same–on the one hand offering peace and on the other hand creating tension at the border.

PM Khan must understand that his words and actions need to be matching each other.

I strongly hope and believe, that this time military of Pak will work under its elected government and in turn PM Khan will have more say over it and the new government will not repeat the mistakes of the previous governments.

Will he be going to play his political inning as nicely as he played in 1992 Cricket World Cup?

About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at@AnuragSason

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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of India TV.

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