It’s unlikely that Beijing and Riyadh would see an alignment of interests beyond steering Pakistan out of an existential crisis. Yet, as actors with considerable influence in Pakistan their involvement is key to its long-term stability. The United States too might lose interest in Pakistan—even if it continues to provide financial and military assistance. India’s long-term interests therefore call for New Delhi to insist on strengthening state institutions vis-à-vis the military establishment now, at a time when outside powers are interested in Pakistan’s stability.
Even as India engages President Musharraf bilaterally, a separate multilateral process will allow it to pursue other imperatives of the stabilisation process.
India has a new Pakistan problem. It needs a new Pakistan policy.
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