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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Dimension: Left Right Divide? Syed Saleem Shahzad

With Sharif's move, ideological divides between liberal-secularists (PPP) and right-wing conservatives (PML-N) that had been blurred during Musharraf's nearly nine-year tenure have resurfaced. This fragmentation has blown apart Western plans to make Pakistani domestic politics useful in the "war on terror" as the opposition, which is also opposed to Pakistan's involvement in the "war on terror", will provide strong resistance to Islamabad's decision to increase military operations against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Zardari, with the Americans breathing down his neck, will be expected to control the often defiant secret service, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as well as the military, regularly accused by the West of not doing enough against militants, if not supporting of the Taliban. Neither task will be easy, if not impossible. [for more click on the heading]


Forget about the more immediate pressing problems faced by the citizenry. If Zardari fails to divide the ISI and Army, he would not only be signing his own political death warrant, he will be cementing them further.

And for adamant and obtuse Sharif the rewards may be a land locked Punjab.

And then, there is an ever present scepter of the Faujis, who are perhaps in a strategic withdrawal and would emerge if conditions deteriorate sufficiently.

Uncle Sam would love that.


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