Hours after the initial results of Pakistan's general elections on Wednesday (July 25, 2018) indicated that Tehrik-e-Insaaf party is sweeping the polls, India started a vicious campaign against the emerging Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, claiming that he is backed by the military of the nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Union Minister RK Singh was quoted by Indian Outlook as saying that Wednesday's elections in Pakistan are rigged by the Army. He claimed that the military has audited the election.
Not surprisingly, a senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Subramanian Swamy, suggested on Thursday (July 26) India should break Pakistan into four pieces.
Speaking to ANI, Swamy said, "Let us (India) prepare for the possibility that Pakistan may carry out war by miscalculation. We should be ready to finish Pakistan and break it into four and look for that opportunity." He claimed that Imran Khan is an army puppet and added:
"It's better to be known as a puppet than pretend not to be a puppet like Nawaz Sharif. They are all puppets. All civilian politicians in Pakistan are puppets of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), military and the Taliban."
While Indian leaders were spewing venom against Imran Khan, leading Indian newspapers launched a malicious campaign against the cricketer-turned-politician.
The First Post of India: "Imran Khan is the worst pick for both Pakistan and India among a field of bad choices" was the headline of the First Post of India report about the elections.
The First Post of India claimed that the military is making Imran's path to premiership easier, given how it considers him a less troublesome figure compared to the dynastic politicians of the Sharif-Bhutto clan.
The paper added:
"The most damning argument against Imran's tenure at the helm is the power that the country's military wield over him. The Pindi khakis have facilitated his rise to the top through a strategy of machinations, manipulations and coercive strategies, and will be eager to extract their pound of flesh. Just one example should be enough of the way the 'establishment' has tried to control the narrative in Imran's favor.
"There are alarm bells for India amid indications that if Imran's party falls short of the halfway mark in the National Assembly, candidates of the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek may join hands with Imran to keep out Sharif's party from power."
Hindustan Times claimed that Pakistan's army has long worried that a civilian government could make overtures to India and Afghanistan, ultimately reducing the need for a powerful military -- and the largesse that comes with it.
Pakistan's powerful military -- which has ruled for much of the nation's history -- has faced accusations during the campaign of intimidating critics to elect a pliant government and Imran Khan is seen as the military's top choice for prime minister.