In a year that saw the world suddenly being brought to its knees, it might be academic suicide to try a little forecasting. But Covid or not, it is something that should be done within governments rather than the usual year-end ‘review’ that essentially ends up as a cut-and-paste exercise to hide bad assessments.
The task is not easy, but a forward look is vital to prevent nasty surprises from popping up, especially in a country that is located next to the powder keg that is Pakistan. This is going to be an exercise in gray with streaks of black, but it has to be done.
The power remains but trouble ahead
The first level of forecasting is somewhat easy – the army will continue to be the dominant force in Pakistan. But there’s a twist. A combined opposition while ranting against Prime Minister Imran Khan carefully stated that while it was against the ‘puppet’, and its controllers, it fully ‘respected’ the army.
Even former PM Nawaz Sharif’s rant was directed against (extended) Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, together with the assurance that he had great regard for the army and its soldiers.
This is a tirade against the army chief in particular, which is curious since Sharif’s party actually supported Bajwa’s extension last year. As any army officer from a democracy will assert, extending an army chief’s tenure is bad news for everyone else down the line.
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