By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: The anti-government protest in Pakistan has reversed the country’s struggle to establish a sustainable democratic system, says a report prepared for the US Congress.
The report — “Pakistan Political Unrest” — warns that “any overt military ouster” of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “could trigger another round of democracy-related US sanctions on foreign assistance to Pakistan”.
This could put “an indefinite halt to what has been one of the highest-priority American aid programmes since 9/11”.
The report also warns that the unrest could impact Pakistan’s relations with India by increasing the army’s influence in foreign policies.
“The Pakistan Army’s more openly direct control of Pakistan’s foreign and security policies may, over time, shift Pakistan’s approach towards Afghanistan further into a policy framework that seeks to counter Indian influence there,” warns the report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).