Monday, March 20, 2023

Indian media react with fury over Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification


Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is in the media spotlight for last few days, particularly after his disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate probe.

The media coverage  saw more storm when it transpired that the PM has been disqualified for life, stirring up debate in the political circles of the country.

The disqualification news received ample coverage in both national and international media with mixed reactions about the political turmoil in Pakistan and its possible impact in the region.

The international media viewed Sharif’s disqualification as another spell of political uncertainty with a wide number of editorials and op-ed publication. However, the Indian media was exceptional in this regard by giving special focus to the disqualification news in context of its possible impacts on Pakistan-India ties.

Here’s how the Indian media reacted

The Hindu, in an op-ed titled “Nawaz Sharif ouster: a blow to India-Pakistan dialogue process”, said that Indian Diplomats and political analysts have opined the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a setback to the process of dialogue with India and the internal democracy of Pakistan. The newspaper quoted former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India Satinder K. Lambah saying as: “Out of all the prime ministers of Pakistan since 1947, Nawaz Sharif is the only one who has held the largest number of meetings – nearly 15 to 20 – with Indian prime ministers, mostly in third countries. It is another matter that he has not travelled to India very often, but he did travel once during Rajiv Gandhi’s funeral in 1991 and then during the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. His departure amounts to the removal of a partner in dialogue with a country which has been India’s main concern.”


The Economic Times India, in its editorial page titled Here’s how Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s ouster will impact India, said: “Though Nawaz Sharif was a weak prime minister……but there was hope that Pakistan would slowly emerge as a stable democracy. But the Panamagate verdict that disqualifies him and allows a six-month trial for all cases against him seems to belie that hope.”


DNA India, in an op-ed, said that Nawaz Sharif’s ouster means fresh security complications for India as political instability will result in an even greater role for Pakistan’s Army, which has been calling the shots anyway.

The newspaper quoted opinions of Indian Foreign Policy Expert Shashadari Chari saying that the Friday’s court order would have a negative effect on Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case.


The Hindustan Times, in an op-ed titled Nawaz Sharif’s ouster means hopes of mending India-Pakistan ties dashed, viewed the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the resultant political uncertainty in Pakistan as further diminishing the possibility of the normalisation of the fragile India-Pakistan ties in the near future.

“First of all, we need to see who succeeds Nawaz Sharif and what is immediately in store for Pakistan’s polity. Any change of guard in Islamabad is also set to bring change in the country’s Indian policy…….,” the newspaper quoted an Indian official.


So far, the Indian government has made no formal statement with regard to Sharif’s disqualification. However, the Indian media already quoting political experts and analysts cautioning the Indian government about the political crisis in Pakistan.


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