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Zardari

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I hesitate to disagree with Juan Cole, one of the few genuine experts posting regularly on Islam and the politics of the Middle East and South Asia. However, I do take issue with his most recent post on the burgeoning crisis in Pakistan. The lawyers are marching, Nawaz Sharif is piggybacking his political struggle with... Read More
There will be plenty more screw-ups in Pakistan, but the Pakistan Supreme Court’s decision banning Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz from elected office will probably be remembered as the biggee, the reckless piece of political gamesmanship by Asif Zardari that sent Pakistan’s current experiment in democracy sliding into the abyss. Briefly put, the Pakistani... Read More
I have a article up at Japan Focus entitled Mumbai Aftermath: U.S. Tilt Toward India Alienates Pakistan and Undermines War Prospects in Afghanistan. The "Made in Pakistan" label is by now pretty firmly affixed to the Mumbai outrage. The most significant development in the story, however, has been the determined efforts by the United States,... Read More
One might wonder why the world community seems intent on torturing Pakistan’s civilian government over the terms of a bailout to cover its current account deficit. Musharraf got blank checks. Asif Zardari gets a brusque push into the unwelcome embrace of the International Monetary Fund. The answer seems to be that the PPP-led government’s bargaining... Read More
A funny thing happened while everybody in the United States, from President Bush to John McCain to Barack Obama swore to muster the will, money, and troops to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, wherever, in order to preserve the victories of Operation Enduring Freedom. Almost everybody else gave up on the war. From... Read More
and prepares for a new surge in Afghanistan that may doom Pakistan
American ignorance concerning Pakistani politics and society is profound. And, in the matter of the “surge” scheduled for Afghanistan for year-end 2008, it may be fatal. U.S. observers, both on the left and right, view Pakistan primarily through the lens of the war on terror, in terms of Pakistan’s role in pumping military forces into... Read More
A funny thing happened at the climax of the lawyers’ Long March to Islamabad to demand restoration of the pre-November 3 judiciary. Nothing. To widespread dismay and confusion, Aitzaz Ahsan, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, announced on June 14 that the marchers would disperse from their positions near the parliament building instead... Read More
Asif Zardari, the Wily Snake from Sindh... Faces Off Against... ...the Tiger of Punjab, Nawaz Sharif... ..In a No Holds Barred Battle... ... to Force Pervez Musharraf From Office! .. The Prize: Bragging Rights as the Savior of Pakistani Democracy! If Pakistani politics honored its striking kinship with the rivalries, bombast, and chair-throwing brio of... Read More
Pakistan Went Straight to Hell
Observers in the West, yours truly included, have been distracted by a series of shiny objects—Hillary! Obama! Tibet! Iraq!-- since Pakistan’s elections apparently put that country on the road to democracy by creating a parliamentary majority dominated by a coalition of the two main anti-Musharraf parties, the PPP and the PML-N. While we were away,... Read More
China Matters looks at what delayed the formation of Pakistan’s new ruling coalition for almost a full month. It’s not Musharraf, or the United States...though they’ve been doing their best. They key factor has been the ambition of PPP co-chairman (and widow of Benazir Bhutto) Asif Zardari. Zardari has been scheming feverishly to assert control... Read More
Pakistan’s two main opposition parties, the PPP and the PML-N, have agreed to form a coalition government. The fate of the judiciary and Musharraf have not been clearly addressed, so it’s not clear if this is a lasting coalition or a superficial and tactical alliance. But simply the fact that Asif Zardari and the PPP... Read More
Update to the Update: I see from Jim Lobe that Hussein Haqqani, the PPP’s flack-in-residence at Boston University, its spokesman to Capitol Hill, and designated quotemeister to the U.S. media, unveiled the current party position in the Wall Street Journal: The newspaper also published a column by Hussein Haqqani - an adviser to the late... Read More
There’s heat but very little light surrounding Pakistan’s impending parliamentary elections. Western journalists are crowding into Pakistan in anticipation of a spectacular blowup following the February 18 parliamentary elections. Pakistani political blogs are plastered with pie charts reflecting every conceivable bias and depicting every imaginable electoral outcome. Just in the last week, two U.S. think... Read More
As the 40 day period of mourning comes to an end, nothing very good seems to have come out of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Eager to capitalize on the outpouring of outrage in the aftermath of the assassination, the Pakistan People’s Party, led by her widower Asif Zardari, refuses to consider any reforms, procedures, or policies... Read More
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Pervez Musharraf’s survival may have been greatly exaggerated. The same goes for the opposition alliance of Bhutto's PPP and Nawaz Sharif's PML-N. Musharraf’s government reached out to Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N, hoping to pre-empt the electoral challenge of the PPP with a government of national unity. Now it... Read More
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