Shehbaz Sharif as Pak PM viewed as more constructive towards India

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is considered to be more hawkish towards India, while the PM in waiting, Shehbaz Sharif, may be more constructive towards a bilateral relationship.

“India wants a soft government in Pakistan,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former Foreign Minister, said recently, Express Tribune reported.

Qureshi said the neighbouring country is “disgusted” with a Pakistani government that defends its interests and adopts an independent foreign policy, the report said.

The former FM added that the PTI aims for good relations with India, but will not tolerate the indiscretion against Kashmir.

However, Imran Khan has of late being singing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s praise.

The people and political leaders of Pakistan were surprised when they resently saw their Prime Minister praising India’s foreign policy before a crowd of thousands of supporters, The News reported.

“It is amusing to note that Imran Khan, who, at one point of time, used to deride Narendra Modi as Hitler and Nazi leader at international fora, has now praised his foreign policy, at a time when his government is on the verge of collapse,” The News reported.

Khan praised Modi’s foreign policy while addressing a public rally in Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said, “I would like to praise our neighbouring country Hindustan for its foreign policy. India’s foreign policy is free and independent, and its only aim is the betterment of its own people.”

The report said that Modi established friendly relations with countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan, which were traditional friends of Pakistan.

Now, Saudi Arabia has stopped giving loans to Pakistan, while the UAE has stopped raising the Kashmir issue despite prodding from Pakistan.

One name that crops up for being close to former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal.

Jindal had held a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in Murree in 2017.

The News had then reported that the meeting was sought by the Indian delegation to play a role for reduction in tension between the two nuclear neighbours.

Jindal was part of the delegation that visited Pakistan during the impromptu visit of Narendra Modi back in December 2015. Jindal also reportedly hosted a lunch for Nawaz Sharif during the latter’s visit to India back in August 2014, The News reported.

Confirmation of the contact came from Maryam Nawaz who had then dismissed suggestions that the meetings were “secret” in nature.

She had then tweeted: “Mr Jindal is an old friend of the prime minister. Nothing ‘secret’ about the meeting & should not be blown out of proportion.”

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