According to a Mail Today report published in July this year, Sharif has been working on Kashmir, as he had done as the prime minister earlier and also set up a Kashmir Cell in his office to monitor all activities related to the region.
The report has also said that the fresh Kashmir strategy wants the government officials not to indulge in anti-India speeches even as the government will continue to attach much importance to the Kashmir issue. The soft approach is aimed at bringing Kashmir back to the international stage even though keeping the Pakistani establishment at a safer distance from it.
India needs a strong leadership to deal with Pak's Kashmir strategy
The report also says that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) will carry out its propaganda on Kashmir in various parts of the world but the propaganda cells will be run by NGOs and local support groups in Kashmir. Meanwhile, the attacks in Kashmir will be projected as a local affair and as the reaction from the Indian side intensifies, the entire episode will be internationalised further.
The renewed Kashmir policy is the only card that Sharif can play to enjoy the trust of his electorate for the several other issues that his nation face are difficult to overcome, at least in the near future. It is clearly the case of a leadership which doesn't have much options and needs to rally around others to live another day.
For India, the period till a new government takes over will be particularly challenging. It is not only because the neighbouring country is in a state of confusion and lost direction and is trying to survive by means of compromise with the militant elements, but also because there is a sense of stagnation in New Delhi about what is to be done next.
Pakistan is taking advantage of India's lame-duck regime and trying to do what the former Vajpayee government did with it, i.e., corner the opponent in the international community. India requires a strong leadership to deal with the challenge and also prospects about Islamabad getting aid from the USA and China, in cash and in kind, respectively but do we expect to see New Delhi making a strong impact on the developing situation before a fresh government comes to power?
As far as the USA's role is concerned, it ruled out any chance of intervening in Kashmir for obvious reasons but will surely make it up by releasing a massive financial aid for Islamabad. Pakistan, despite all irritants in the bilateral relation, has always been a very important ally for Washington though the turmoil in the neighbouring Afghanistan and the Osama bin Laden episode caused some problems between the two. But with the time of exit of the western forces from Afghanistan gradually approaching, there will be a reassessment of the Pakistan policy by the White House.
But Pakistan, even a democratic one, can thrive best when backed by the superpower and that is the biggest advantage for the Indian establishment.