In Pakistan, No One Is Concerned About Narendra Modi: Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa is an internationally known political analyst based in Pakistan. She has authored the book Military Inc. And she has done her Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College, London. The blogger Muhammad Akbar Notezai spoke to her about Indian elections and its impact on relationship with Pakistan.
Interview by Muhammad Akbar Notezai
The 2014 Indian elections are important as these will indicate a swift but critical turn in the nature of India’s state and society. On the one hand, a vote away from Indian National Congress is challenging poor politics of an old party with hereditary politics. On the other hand, this is about India turning towards the right-wing, just like other states in South Asia or even the world.
If Narendra Modi were to be become India’s next prime minister, will he get tougher with Pakistan or he will follow Vajpayee to try to establish good relations with Pakistan?
The political government has been very patient towards Narendra Modi. They believe that they will be able to work with him as they did with a previous Bharatiya Janata Party government. However, the establishment also tends to look at Narendra Modi with suspicion. He was responsible for the carnage in Gujrat. What will perhaps determine relations under Narendra Modi is the way communal relations in India pan out under Narendra Modi. Any rise in Muslim-Hindu tension will have its repercussions
What do you think should the both countries do to improve the relations with each other?
Both countries should work to increase trade and people to people contact. There is no alternative to this. Until work is done to change the mindset, we will drift away from each other.
What are your thoughts about the coverage of Pakistani media regarding India’s elections?
What is noticeable in Pakistan is actually lack of interest in Indian elections. No one is concerned about Narendra Modi or the changes that may take place as a result. It is as if India does not exist
After the NATO force withdrawal, will Afghanistan become a problem for Pakistan and India?
After NATO force withdrawal, there is a likelihood of increased India-Pak competition in Afghanistan. Sadly, the war will be fought through proxies.
Published in Prabhat Khabar Newspaper (Hindi), India.
Muhammad Akbar Notezai is a freelance journalist and researcher. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Akbar_notezai