Pakistani daily hopes Sharif, Kayani work together

Islamabad, May 20 (IANS) A leading Pakistani daily Monday hoped that incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani “can at least be expected to try and work together”.

Nawaz Sharif, who is all set to become the prime minister for the third time, had a long meeting in Lahore with General Kayani.

“Of one meeting is not made a relationship, functional or otherwise…,” said an editorial in the Dawn Monday.

But the three-hour tête-à-tête “suggests that both sides can at least be expected to try and work together in the months ahead”.

The daily said that the “army’s hands-off approach towards the elections, for the most part, will have gone some way in addressing the PML-N’s concerns…”

Now that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has swept to unexpectedly large gains in its strongholds in an on-schedule election with minimal interference by the army-led establishment, “the party may be more willing to look at the army leadership as a partner rather than a potential adversary”.

The editorial noted that Sharif’s suggestions in the days leading up to the election that a Sharif-led government will determine national security and foreign policies and the army will be expected to follow it “will have raised some eyebrows but there was also enough in Sharif’s comments to suggest that he is no way spoiling for a fight”.

“More important will be how the incoming prime minister decides to try and influence two key relationships: with India and Afghanistan.

“On India, Sharif’s intentions are well known and it can be inferred that the army would prefer a slower rate of progress than the PML-N supremo appears to want,” it added.

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