Those in Benazir's policy-making coterie are disappointed. More conventional diplomats feel the change will correct the 'imbalances' that have crept into Indo-Pak relations. The appointment of I. Gujral as foreign minister has been welcomed.
Many Pakistani officials and politicians have known him, and Gujral is well respected in the academic circuit. Others recall that it was under Atal Behari Vajpayee, a Jana Sangh foreign minister, that the first post-Bhutto opening took place in Indo-Pak relations. We have good memories of that phase," says Agha Shahi, former foreign minister who heads the Islamabad Council of World Affairs, a reputed think-tank.
Most Pakistanis believe that the arrival of the Janata Dal might mean an end to the activist foreign policy initiated by Rajiv Gandhi. Islami Jamhoori Ittehad leader Shujaat Hussain even gave a statement to local newspapers saying that since the new Indian Government was weak and needed the support of Indian Muslims, it was in its interest to have friendly relations with Pakistan. Singh's first statement on India's nuclear policy too has been appreciated.
My Published Works ~ Ravi Nitesh
An editorial headlined "V. Singh's Good Beginning" in The Nation said: "An acid test of his vision and sagacity will be how he extricates New Delhi from the fall-out of his predecessor's misguided adventures. In the diplomatic circuit, it is a common joke that the domestic politics of Pakistanis India's internal affair and vice versa. So now, as Pakistan recovers from the excitement of India's ninth general elections, the overriding emotion is one of appreciation for the grace with which Rajiv has made his bow. In the words of a member of the Benazir Cabinet, it has reassured the Pakistani citizen that democracy could work, even in functioning anarchies.
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