India concerned at Pakistan coup buzz, but looks at big picture

A concerned India, which feels that another military takeover in Pakistan could have various risks, also believes that cricketer-politician Imran Khan was being propped by various quarters.

New Delhi is closely following developments after a memo surfaced about Pakistan ambassador in the US Hussain Haqqani, considered close to President Asif Ali Zardari, talking of a possible coup by the military.

Official  sources said they had noted with interest the fact that the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had been sent to London to talk to Pakistani American businessman Mansoor Ijaz -  who had been saying that he had nothing to with the memo and that it was Zardari's doing. It was Ijaz who sent the memo to Admiral Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the US Joint Cheifs of Staff.

Kayani had reportedly taken up the issue with Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Referring to Imran Khan, who recently held a massive rally in Lahore, sources said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief was "being steadily built up" by various sections, including the Jamaat and some elements in the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q).

Stating that a coup in the neighbouring country had various risks and times had changed since Pervez Musharraf's putsch in 1999, sources said that perhaps the most sensible thing would be to put up political representatives.

"The two main political parties (Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and the ruling PPP) should not be sidelined."

In a broader perspective, instability and inconsistencies were not new to Pakistan but India had lived with it and deal with it. In strategic terms, dealing with a difficult neighbour like Pakistan was also always uncertain. "There have been much worse moments in the past, but we'll work with who we can," informed sources said, adding that the closest India came to doing business with some confidence was the Musharraf regime.

"You have to look at Pakistan in the bigger context. We talk with the government, whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan. We do business where we can... the test is the outcome," sources said.

Between 1989 and 1999, "Pakistan threw everything at us",  a source said, pointing to instances such as the Kargil and attempts at internationalising the Kashmir issue. But India still grew at nine percent.

Referring to Pakistan's relative silence on public utterances on Afghanistan - it stopped talking about denying sanctuaries to militant groups -  sources believe it could be because of the internal tensions. "We don't know."

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