Pak PM's ouster could trigger US sanction
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ouster through illegal means could trigger another round of democracy-related US sanctions against Pakistan, according to a report.
A congressional reported titled 'Pakistan Political Unrest' warns that "any overt military ouster" of Sharif "could trigger another round of democracy-related US sanctions on foreign assistance to Pakistan", the Dawn said yesterday.
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 ongoing political crisis could impact Pakistan's relations with India by increasing the powerful army's influence in foreign policies, the paper said.
The "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).
The report notes that while the Sharif government does not face an imminent ouster, "many observers see the current unrest weakening Sharif".
It also represents "a setback to democratisation in a country that has suffered three outright military coups in its 67 years of independence".
The report informs US lawmakers that despite the protest, Pakistan is unlikely to change its foreign or security policies that are of interest to the United States.
The report came in the wake of nearly a month-long protest by Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Awami Tehreek head Tahir-ul Qadri demanding Sharif's ouster.
Pak airstrikes kill 65 militants
Pakistan's military yesterday said it had killed 65 militants and destroyed five hideouts in fresh air strikes as part of a major offensive against the Taliban in the northwest. Pakistan began the long-awaited push to clear insurgent bases from North Waziristan district, on the Afghan border, in June after a bloody attack on Karachi airport finally sank faltering peace talks with the rebels.