Pakistan's 2008 Elections: Results and Implications for U.S. Policy

Pakistan’s 2008 Elections: Results and
Implications for U.S. Policy
April 9, 2008
K. Alan Kronstadt
Specialist in South Asian Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Pakistan’s 2008 Elections:
Results and Implications for U.S. Policy
A stable, democratic, prosperous Pakistan actively working to counter Islamist
militancy is considered vital to U.S. interests. Pakistan is a key ally in U.S.-led
counterterrorism efforts. The history of democracy in Pakistan is a troubled one
marked by ongoing tripartite power struggles among presidents, prime ministers, and
army chiefs. Military regimes have ruled Pakistan directly for 34 of the country’s 60
years in existence, and most observers agree that Pakistan has no sustained history
of effective constitutionalism or parliamentary democracy. In 1999, the
democratically elected government of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted
in a bloodless coup led by then-Army Chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who later
assumed the title of president. In 2002, Supreme Court-ordered parliamentary
elections — identified as flawed by opposition parties and international observers —
seated a new civilian government, but it remained weak, and Musharraf retained the
position as army chief until his November 2007 retirement. In October 2007,
Pakistan’s Electoral College reelected Musharraf to a new five-year term in a
controversial vote that many called unconstitutional.
The Bush Administration urged restoration of full civilian rule in Islamabad and
called for the February 2008 national polls to be free, fair, and transparent. U.S.
criticism sharpened after President Musharraf’s November 2007 suspension of the
Constitution and imposition of emergency rule (nominally lifted six weeks later), and
the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister and leading opposition
figure Benazir Bhutto. To the surprise of nearly all observers, the February elections
were relatively free of expected violence. The apparent absence of large-scale
election-day rigging allowed opposition parties to decisively defeat Musharraf’s allies
in Parliament, where nearly all of the senior incumbents lost their seats. An
opposition coalition took power in the National Assembly in late March. Parties
opposed to Musharraf also took power in three of the country’s four provincial
assemblies. The result led to the Bush Administration’s permanent lifting of coup-
related sanctions on aid to Pakistan that had been in place for more than eight years.
Political circumstances in Pakistan remain fluid, however, and the country’s
internal security and stability remain seriously threatened. Many observers urge a
broad re-evaluation of U.S. policies toward Pakistan as developments create new
centers of power in Islamabad. The Bush Administration has vigorously supported
the government of President Musharraf, whose credibility and popularity decreased
markedly in 2007. The powerful army’s new chief, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, has
shown signs of withdrawing the military from a direct role in governance. Moreover,
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani may enjoy reinvigorated influence if anticipated
reversions to the country’s 1973 Constitution — which empowers Parliament over
the presidency — come to pass. As the nature of U.S.-Pakistan relations shifts,
potential differences over counterterrorism strategy and over the status of Pakistan’s
deposed judges may bedevil bilateral ties. This report reviews the results of
Pakistan’s February 2008 vote and discusses some of the implications for U.S.
policy. See also CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations, and CRS Report
RL34240, Pakistan’s Political Crises. This report will not be updated.

Background ......................................................1
Pakistan’s New Political Setting......................................2
2007 Political Crises...........................................2
2008 Parliamentary Elections....................................3
Overview ................................................3
Election Preparations.......................................5
Election Monitoring........................................6
Election Results...........................................6
Musharraf’s Status.........................................8
New Civilian Government.......................................9
Coalition Building.........................................9
Government Formation and Outlook..........................10
Potential Coalition Discord.................................11
Restoration of Deposed Judges..............................12
Role of the Pakistani Military...............................13
Implications for U.S. Policy.....................................14

Pakistan’s 2008 Elections: Results and
Implications for U.S. Policy
Background 1
A stable, democratic, prosperous Pakistan actively working to counter Islamist
militancy is considered vital to U.S. interests. The history of democracy in Pakistan
is a troubled one marked by ongoing tripartite power struggles among presidents,
prime ministers, and army chiefs. Military regimes have ruled Pakistan directly for
34 of the country’s 60 years in existence, and most observers agree that Pakistan has
no sustained history of effective constitutionalism or parliamentary democracy. The
country has had five Constitutions, the most recent being ratified in 1973 (and
significantly modified several times since). From the earliest days of independence,
the country’s armed forces have thought of themselves as “saviors of the nation,” a
perception that has received significant, though limited, public support. The military,
usually acting in tandem with the president, has engaged in three outright seizures of
power from civilian-led governments: by Gen. Ayub Khan in 1958, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq2
in 1977, and Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
After 1970, five successive governments were voted into power, but not once
was a government voted out of power — all five were removed by the army through

1 For broader background for 1999-2005, see CRS Report RL32615, Pakistan’s Domestic
Political Developments, by K. Alan Kronstadt.
2 In 1958, President Iskander Mizra, with the support of the army, abrogated the Constitution
as “unworkable and full of dangerous compromises.” Three weeks later Mizra was exiled
and Army Chief Gen. Ayub Khan installed himself as President while declaring martial law
and banning all political parties (thus formalizing the militarization of Pakistan’s political
system). His appointment of a senior civil servant as Deputy Martial Law Administrator
gave some legitimating cast to the event and, four years later, Ayub Khan introduced a new
Constitution that sought to legitimate his rule in the absence of martial law. In 1977, and
in the midst of political turmoil involving Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto and the Pakistan
National Alliance opposed to him, Army Chief Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, in apparent collusion with
conservative Islamic groups, declared martial law, suspended the Constitution, dissolved the
National Assembly, and took power in a bloodless coup. He vowed to hold national
elections within 90 days, but soon rescinded that promise, and spent the next 11 years
making changes to the Pakistani Constitution and system of governance that would ensure
his continued hold on power. In 1999, Army Chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf overthrew the
elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, dismissed the National Assembly, and
appointed himself “Chief Executive.” He later assumed the title of president and oversaw
constitutional amendments that bolstered his own powers. Two of the three coups d’état
(Zia in 1977 and Musharraf in 1999) were entirely extra-constitutional in nature. See Robert
Stern, Democracy and Dictatorship in South Asia (Praeger, 2001).

explicit or implicit presidential orders.3 Of Pakistan’s three most prominent Prime
Ministers, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed; his daughter Benazir Bhutto was exiled,
then later assassinated; and Nawaz Sharif suffered seven years in exile under threat
of life in prison before his 2007 return. Such long-standing political turmoil may
partially explain why, in a 2004 public opinion survey, nearly two-thirds of
Pakistanis were unable to provide a meaning for the term “democracy.”4 A 2008
index of state weakness labeled Pakistan the world’s 33rd weakest country (between
Zambia and Cambodia), based largely on low scores for political institutional
effectiveness and legitimacy, and for the (in)ability of the government to provide
citizens with physical security.5
Table 1. Notable Leaders of Pakistan
Governor-General Mohammed Ali Jinnah1947-1948
Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan1947-1951
President Iskandar Ali Mirza1955-1958
President-General Mohammed Ayub Khan1958-1969
President-General Mohammed Yahya Khan1969-1971
President-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto1971-1977
President-General Zia ul-Haq1978-1988
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto1988-1990
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif1990-1993
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto1993-1996
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif1997-1999
President-General Pervez Musharraf1999-present
Pakistan’s New Political Setting6
2007 Political Crises
The year 2007 saw Pakistan buffeted by numerous and serious political crises,
culminating in the December 27 assassination of former Prime Minister and leading
opposition figure Benazir Bhutto, who had returned to Pakistan from self-imposed
exile in October. Bhutto’s killing in an apparent gun and bomb attack (the
circumstances remain controversial) has been called a national tragedy for Pakistan

3 See “The Calculus of Electoral Politics in Pakistan (1970-2008),” Pakistan Institute of
Legislative Development and Transparency, January 2008, at
[ h t t p:// publications/publica tion/elections/Calculus% 2 0 o f % 2 0 E l e c t o r a l %


4 International Foundation for Election Systems, “National Public Opinion Survey Pakistan

2004,” available at [].

5 Brookings Institution, Index of State Weakness in the Developing World, at
[http://www.brookings .edu/reports/ 2008/02_weak_states_index.aspx].
6 See also CRS Report RL34240, Pakistan’s Political Crises.

and did immense damage to already troubled efforts to democratize the country.
Pakistan’s security situation has deteriorated sharply: the federal government faces
armed rebellions in two of the country’s four provinces, as well as in the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA, see map on the last page), and the country
experienced at least 44 suicide bomb attacks in the latter half of 2007 that killed more
than 700 people. In 2008, Pakistan has suffered an average of more than one suicide
bomb attack every week.7
Pakistan faces considerable political uncertainty as the tenuous governance
structure put in place by President Musharraf has come under strain. Musharraf
himself was reelected to a second five-year presidential term in a controversial
October 2007 vote by the country’s electoral college. Under mounting domestic and
international pressure, he finally resigned his military commission six weeks later.
Yet popular opposition to military rule had been growing steadily with a series of
political crises in 2007: a bungled attempt by Musharraf to dismiss the country’s
Chief Justice; Supreme Court rulings that damaged Musharraf’s standing and
credibility; constitutional questions about the legality of Musharraf’s status as
president; a return to Pakistan’s political stage by two former Prime Ministers with
considerable public support; and the pressures of repeatedly delayed parliamentary
elections which eventually took place on February 18, 2008.
On November 3, 2007, President Musharraf had launched a “second coup” by
suspending the country’s Constitution and assuming emergency powers in his role
as both president and army chief. The move came as security circumstances
deteriorated sharply across the country, but was widely viewed as an effort by
Musharraf to maintain his own power. His government dismissed uncooperative
Supreme Court justices, including the Chief Justice, and jailed thousands of
opposition figures and lawyers who opposed the abrogation of rule of law. It also
cracked down on independent media outlets, many of which temporarily were shut
down. The emergency order was lifted on December 15, but independent analysts
saw only mixed evidence that the lifting led to meaningful change, given especially
the continued existence of media curbs and a stacked judiciary. On the day before
he lifted the emergency order, Musharraf issued several decrees and made
amendments to the Pakistani Constitution, some of which would ensure that his
actions under emergency rule would not be challenged by any court.

2008 Parliamentary Elections8

Overview. On February 18, 2008, Pakistan held elections to seat a new
National Assembly and all four provincial assemblies. As noted above, independent
analysts had predicted a process entailing rampant political-related violence and
electoral rigging in favor of the recently incumbent, Musharraf-friendly Pakistan
Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) faction. Despite weeks of bloodshed leading up to the
polls, the day itself was surprisingly calm and turnout was slightly higher than for the

2002 election. Moreover, fears of large-scale rigging appear to have proven

7 See the South Asia Terrorism Portal database at [
paki stan/database/Fidayeenattack.htm] .
8 See also CRS Report RL34335, Pakistan’s Scheduled 2008 Elections.

unfounded, as the PML-Q was swept from power in a considerable wave of support
for Pakistan’s two leading opposition parties, the PPP, now overseen by Benazir
Bhutto’s widower, Asif Zardari, and the PML-N of former Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif. (Neither of these figures ran for parliamentary seats and so neither currently
is eligible to serve as Prime Minister, but this circumstance could change.)
The two largely secular, moderate parties proceeded to form a ruling
parliamentary coalition in Islamabad. Their leadership explicitly seeks to legislate
sovereign powers back to the Parliament by restoring the 1973 Constitution
(Musharraf had overseen amendments empowering the office of the president) and
to reinstate Supreme Court and other judges who were dismissed in Musharraf’s
November 2007 emergency imposition. They also lead coalition governments in the
two most populous of the country’s four provinces.
In the view of many outside observers, President Musharraf’s efforts to keep
himself in power have “reinforced his alliance with thoroughly illiberal forces” and
have “alienated all the modern, secular and liberal forces in Pakistan.”9 Nevertheless,
Musharraf called the election a “milestone” that his government had “worked
tirelessly” to make credible, and he vowed to work with the new Parliament to defeat
terrorism, build effective democratic government, and create a foundation for
economic growth. PPP leader Zardari called the occasion a vindication of his late
wife’s battle for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan and a new start for a
country that had been “battered by dictatorship.”10
Indeed, as a perceived referendum on President Musharraf’s rule, the polls
represented a widespread popular rejection of his policies. They also appeared to
forward arguments that the Pakistani populace supports moderate political parties
without explicitly religious manifestos. At the same time, the results were seen by
many analysts as compounding difficulties for U.S. policy makers who may have
placed too much faith in the person of Musharraf, an increasingly isolated figure
whose already damaged status is now further weakened.11 Still, there is a widespread
view that the exercise represents an important new chance for the development of
democratic governance in Pakistan.
Rising inflation and food and energy shortages have elicited considerable
economic anxieties in Pakistan. Such concerns are believed to have played a key role
in the anti-incumbency vote and are likely to weigh heavily on the new government.
At the same time, Islamist extremism and militancy have been menaces to Pakistani
society throughout the post-2001 period and particularly in 2007. In a sign that
radicals might seek to test the new government, suicide bomb and other attacks on

9 Fareed Zakaria, “Musharraf’s Last Stand,” Newsweek, January 21, 2008.
10 Pervez Musharraf, “A Milestone on the Road to Democracy” (op-ed), Washington Post,
February 22, 2008; Asif Ali Zardari, “Momentous Day for Pakistan, Bhutto’s Legacy” (op-
ed),, March 18, 2008.
11 “Pakistan Elections Toss Wrench Into U.S. Works,” Los Angeles Times, February 23,

2008; “Pakistan’s Political Coalition Means New Challenges for U.S.,” Washington Post,

February 24, 2008; “Pakistan’s Musharraf Increasingly Isolated: Analysts,” Agence France
Presse, April 3, 2008.

both security forces and civilian targets have been rampant since the elections,
costing hundreds of lives.
Election Preparations. Pakistan’s National Assembly ended its five-year
term on November 15, 2007, marking the first time in the country’s history that the
body had completed a full term without interruption. President Musharraf appointed
a caretaker Prime Minister and cabinet for the election period. Many analysts viewed
the caretaker cabinet as being stacked with partisan Musharraf supporters that further
damaged hopes for credible elections. There were numerous reports of government
efforts to “pre-rig” the election.12 Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner initially
announced that polls would be held on January 8, 2007. About 13,500 candidates
subsequently filed papers to vie for Pakistan’s 272 elected National Assembly seats
and 577 provincial assembly constituencies. The full National Assembly has 342
seats, with 60 reserved for women and another 10 reserved for non-Muslims.
Amendments to the Pakistani Constitution and impeachment of the president require
a two-thirds majority for passage.
Opposition parties were placed in the difficult position of choosing whether to
participate in elections that were considered likely to be manipulated by the
incumbent government or to boycott the process in protest. Upon Benazir Bhutto’s
late December assassination and ensuing civil strife, the Election Commission chose
to delay the polls until February 18, spurring a nationwide debate. PPP and PML-N
leaders demanded the election be held as scheduled; the Bush Administration
appeared to support their demands. Zardari’s calculation likely was rooted in
expectations of a significant sympathy vote for the PPP. The main opposition parties
criticized the incumbent government and accused it of fearing a major loss, but
nonetheless chose to participate in the polls. As Musharraf’s political clout waned,
the Musharraf-allied PML-Q party faced more daunting odds in convincing a13
skeptical electorate that it deserved another five years in power.
In late January, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher
told a House panel that the fundamental U.S. goals with regard to Pakistan remained
unchanged and included a desire to see “successful transition to democracy and
civilian rule” and “the emergence of leaders through a credible election.” While
denying that the Administration was prepared to accept “a certain level of fraud,” he
expressed an expectation that some level would be seen: “On a scale from terrible

12 See “Reflections on the Electoral History of Pakistan (1970-2008),” Pakistan Institute of
Legislative Development and Transparency, January 2008, at
[ ections%20Stolen.pdf].
13 “Musharraf Ally Battles Foes and Apathy in Pakistan Vote,” Reuters, December 19, 2007.
A public opinion survey undertaken by the Washington-based International Republican
Institute during the emergency showed that a large majority of Pakistanis opposed the
measure and nearly two-thirds said they would support a boycott of scheduled elections.
Musharraf’s approval rating remained low, with nearly three-quarters of respondents saying
they opposed his reelection as president and 67% wanting his resignation. When asked who
they thought was the best leader to handle the problems facing Pakistan, 31% chose Bhutto,

25% cited Sharif, and 23% said Musharraf (see [

2007-12-12-paki stan-poll-index.pdf]).

to great, it’ll be somewhere in the middle.”14 More than $26 million in U.S. aid to
Pakistan was devoted to democracy-related programs there in FY2007.15
Election Monitoring. Despite anticipated election day violence, voter turnout
was solid, averaging nearly 45% nationwide (ranging from a low of 25% in the
FATA to more than 50% in the Federal Capital Territory). At least 25,000 Pakistani
citizens were accredited by the Pakistan Election Commission to serve as domestic
observers. Some 500 international observers — including 56 from the United States
— were in the country on February 18, along with more than 500 more foreign
journalists covering the election. Preliminary statements from European Union
observers conceded that a level playing field had not been provided for the campaign
but that, on election day itself, “voting on the whole was assessed as positive.” The
mission fielded by Democracy International — a nongovernmental group contracted
by the State Department — also identified a “seriously flawed and difficult pre-
election environment,” but reached its own preliminary conclusion that the
reasonably peaceful and smoothly conducted polls represented “a dramatic step16
forward for democracy in Pakistan.” Pakistan’s print media were cautiously
optimistic about the mostly fair and violence-free elections. On the economic front,
the process likely contributed to a steadying of the rupee’s value and a 3% rise in the
Karachi Stock Exchange’s main index.
Election Results. Although President Musharraf had been reelected in a
controversial indirect vote in October 2007 and was not on the ballot in 2008, the
elections were almost universally viewed as a referendum on his rule. As shown in
Table 2, the PPP won a clear plurality of seats (121) in the National Assembly.
While the Musharraf-allied PML-Q won substantially more total votes than did the
PML-N of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s “first past the post” plurality electoral system
allowed Sharif’s party to win 91 National Assembly seats to only 54 for the
incumbents. This outcome provides the country’s two main secular opposition
parties with a near two-thirds majority. They are joined in a new national ruling
coalition by the secular Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party (ANP). The
Sindhi regional Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), which was part of the ruling
bloc under PML-Q leadership, performed considerably better than in 2002 to win
about 7% of the vote and 25 seats at the national level. These five top-performing
parties now account for about 92% of all National Assembly seats.
Table 3 shows the PPP won an outright majority in the provincial parliament
of Sindh, the Bhuttos’ ancestral homeland, and so can govern there without coalition
partners. In the wealthy and densely populated Punjab province, Sharif’s PML-N
dominated the PML-Q in the incumbent party’s heartland (despite winning fewer
total votes) to take nearly half of the provincial assembly seats there. Sharif’s brother
Shabaz is expected to serve again as Chief Minister, overseeing a coalition with the
PPP in the provincial assembly based in Lahore. Voters in the North West Frontier

14 Transcript: “House Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on National
Security and Foreign Affairs Holds Hearing on Pakistan Elections,” January 29, 2008.
15 See [].
16 See [].

Province (NWFP) roundly rejected the previously incumbent Islamist coalition and
awarded the ANP a resounding comeback after its virtual shutout in 2002. The PPP
and ANP agreed to share power in the NWFP, with the Chief Minister and 12 of 21
cabinet ministers coming from the ANP. Only in sparsely populated Baluchistan did
the PML-Q seem sufficiently strong to retain power.
Table 2. Selected 2008 National Assembly Election Results
P ercentage Seats P ercentage
Party/CoalitionVoteswonof totalsecuredof seats
PPP (Pakistan People’s Party)10,606,48631%12136%
PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League -6,781,44520%9127%
PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League -7,989,81723%5416%
MQM (Muttahida Quami2,507,8137%257%
M o ve me nt )
ANP (Awami National Party)700,4792%134%
MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a772,7982%62%
coalition of Islamist parties)
Other a 5,166,433 15% 26 8%
Total34,665,978 — 336 —
Source: Election Commission of Pakistan and various press reports
a. Mostly independent candidates, but includes five additional parties at the national level. Other
Pakistani political parties of note are the Pakistan People’s Party - Sherpao, an offshoot of the
PPP led by Aftab Sherpao, who served as Interior Minister in the government of Shaukat Aziz
under President Musharraf; the Baluchistan National Movement; the Sindh National Front, and
numerous smaller regional and religious parties. A list of the 49 parties registered for the 2008
election is at [].
The membership of the new National Assembly is generally wealthier and more
secular than its predecessors.17 The PPP’s expected sympathy vote apparently did not
materialize in any major way, but the party did win 31% of national votes cast, up
from about 27% in 2002. It was, in fact, the PML-N of Nawaz Sharif that appeared
to perform best in the key battleground region of southern Punjab, winning wholesale
votes from disgruntled former PML-Q supporters. Despite a result seen by many as
suboptimal from Washington’s perspective, a senior Bush Administration official
responded to the outcome with broad approval:

17 “New Crop of Pakistani Lawmakers Are Richer, Flashier And More Secular,” Associated
Press, March 19, 2008.

The election outcome proves that moderate pro-democracy parties are the heart
of Pakistan’s political system and that religious-based politics have no hold over
the voters. While not perfect, the elections reflected the will of the voters, who
have embraced the results.... We supported Pakistan’s elections and now we will18
support the Pakistani people as they choose their leaders.
For some analysts, the relatively successful elections are an indication that Pakistan
is shifting away from its traditional feudal-patronage political system.19
Table 3. Selected 2008 Provincial Assembly Election Results
(shown as a percentage of announced seats won)
Party/Coalition PP PS PF PB
PPP (Pakistan People’s Party)29%55%26%17%
PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz)45%0%8%0%
PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid-e-Azam)24%6%4%32%
MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement)0%32%0%0%
ANP (Awami National Party)0%0%39%6%
MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of1%0%12%16%
Islamist parties)
All others1%7%11%29%
PP: Punjab Assembly; PS: Sindh Assembly; PF: North West Frontier Province Assembly;
PB: Baluchistan Assembly
Source: Geo Television at [].
Musharraf’s Status. Immediately following their poll victory, the leaders of
both major opposition parties issued calls for President Musharraf’s resignation.
Though he rejects such calls, Musharraf has expressed a willingness to work with the
new Parliament, even as he recognizes the potential for a two-thirds opposition
majority to reverse many of the changes made during his rule. This might in
particular include parts of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants
presidential powers to dismiss the Prime Minister and dissolve Parliament. Such a
super-majority could even move to impeach him. Table 2 shows that a PPP/PML-
N/ANP combine could potentially collect two-thirds of the National Assembly vote,
but it presently appears that a PPP-led government will not (in the near-term, at least)
seek to remove Musharraf through impeachment. Even with such an intention, the
opposition alliance is unlikely to corral sufficient votes in the Pakistani Senate, where
the PML-Q had enjoyed a simple majority until several crossovers diluted its

18 Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, “Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. Holds a Hearing
on U.S. Policy Options in Post-Election Pakistan,” CQ Transcripts, February 28, 2008.
19 See, for example, William Dalrymple, “A New Deal in Pakistan?,” New York Review of
Books, April 3, 2008.

strength.20 Many analysts contend that Musharraf has sought to manipulate the
transfer of power process through the creation of uncertainty and instability, and
some continue to insist that Musharraf should follow “the logic of the people’s
verdict” and resign.21
New Civilian Government
Coalition Building. Negotiations on coalition building were settled on March
9, when PPP leader Zardari and PML-N leader Sharif issued a written declaration of
their intention to share power at the center (along with the ANP) under a PPP Prime
Minister and in the Punjab under a PML-N Chief Minister.22 In a major show of
opposition unity, the accord notably vowed to seek restoration of deposed judges to
office within 30 days of the new government’s seating (see below). The leaders also
promised to implement a May 2006 “Charter of Democracy” inked by Benazir
Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif that would include removing the president’s power to
dissolve parliament, as well as his power to appoint military service chiefs. Many
viewed the March 9 “Murree Declaration” as an historic rejection of military-
bureaucratic rule in Islamabad and a victory over forces that sought to keep the
opposition divided.23 The Islamist Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam faction headed by Fazl-ur-
Rehman (JUI-F) will vote with the PPP-led coalition, which was bolstered when 11
parliamentarians elected as independents joined it (7 aligning with the PPP and four
others taking up with the PML-N). Fahimda Mirza — a Sindhi businesswoman, PPP
stalwart, and close associate of Zardari — is now Pakistan’s first-ever female
National Assembly Speaker.
Benazir Bhutto’s long-time party deputy and National Assembly member
Makhdoom Amin Fahim initially had been dubbed the PPP’s leading prime
ministerial candidate. Fahim, who comes from a feudal Sindh background similar
to that of Bhutto, was seen to have led the party competently in her absence, but does
not possess national standing and support close to that enjoyed by Bhutto herself.
During early March, intra-PPP discord arose over the party’s prime ministerial
candidate, with some party leaders reportedly unhappy with Fahim and seeking a
leader from the Punjab province. Some reports also indicated that Sharif’s PML-N
had pushed for the nomination of a Punjabi Prime Minister, and the more vehemently

20 Before the February election, the Senate’s pro-Musharraf bloc (PML-Q + MQM) enjoyed
a simple majority of 56 seats and the opposition had 42 seats (two seats are vacant).
However, at least six and perhaps seven PML-Q Senators are believed to have since formed
a forward bloc and intend to vote with the new (PPP/PML-N/ANP/JUI-F) government. This
would give the new ruling coalition a simple majority in the Senate. More PML-Q
defections are anticipated. The next Senate elections are set for March 2009 (“PPP-Led
Coalition Attains Majority in Senate,” News (Karachi), March 25, 2008).
21 Shafqat Mahmood, “Musharraf Should Give Up” (op-ed), News (Karachi), March 21,

2008; Ijaz Hussain, “Should Musharraf Quit?” (op-ed), Daily Times (Lahore), April 9, 2008.

22 Declaration text available at [].
23 See, for example, Husain Haqqani, “An End to Military Bureaucratic Rule”(op-ed),
Nation (Lahore), March 12, 2008; “Deal May Spell Bad News for Musharraf,” BBC News,
March 10, 2008.

anti-Musharraf Nawaz faction reportedly opposed Fahim’s candidacy because of his
frequent contacts with the unpopular Pakistani president.24
Government Formation and Outlook. On March 22, PPP Co-Chair Asif
Zardari announced the prime ministerial candidacy of Yousaf Raza Gillani, a party
stalwart from the Punjab province. Gillani was Parliament Speaker during Benazir
Bhutto’s second government (1993-1996) and spent five years in prison (from 2001
to 2006) after being sentenced by an anti-corruption court created under President
Musharraf. Musharraf’s opponents say the court was established as a means of
intimidating and coercing politicians to join the PML-Q, which Gillani had refused25
to do. On March 24, Gillani won 264 of 306 votes cast to become Pakistan’s new
Prime Minister. Of his 24 cabinet ministers, 11 are from the PPP and 9 from the
PML-N. The junior coalition partners (ANP and JUI-F) hold three ministries and an
independent candidate will oversee the remainder. Other important new federal
ministers include:
!Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who hails from a land-
owning family in southern Punjabi city of Multan and has been a
PPP lawmaker since 1985, serving as a Punjab provincial minister
during the 1990s;
!Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, an industrialist from
the Gujrat region of Punjab, who served as federal commerce
minister in Benazir Bhutto’s second government (1993-1996) and
who won his parliamentary seat in 2008 by defeating PML-Q leader
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein; and
!Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a native of the Punjabi city of Lahore
and central leader of PML-N party who served as federal commerce
and later finance minister in Nawaz Sharif’s second government
Asif Zardari has at times seemed to flirt with the idea of offering himself as the
PPP’s prime ministerial candidate, then later rule himself out for the job. Still, many
analysts believe Zardari may be grooming himself for that office in the future. Until
Benazir Bhutto’s teenaged son and political heir Bilawal Bhutto Zardari completes
studies at Oxford University, Zardari is to run the PPP. Zardari is a controversial
figure in Pakistan: he spent at least eight years in prison (without conviction) on
charges ranging from corruption to complicity in murder, and some of these cases
still stand unresolved. In March 2008, courts dismissed seven pending corruption
cases against Zardari. The Pakistani government later withdrew as party to a Swiss
money laundering case against him, perhaps clearing the way for him to win a by-26
election and become eligible to serve as Prime Minister. Constitutional

24 “PML-N Vetoes Candidature of Fahim,” Dawn (Karachi), March 11, 2008.
25 “Profile: Yusuf Raza Gillani,” BBC News, March 23, 2008.
26 As part of 2007’s power-sharing negotiations between President Musharraf and Benazir

amendments overseen by President Musharraf in 2003 include a requirement that
parliamentarians possess a college degree or its equivalent, which Zardari apparently
does not. This represents another potential obstacle to his seating as prime minister.
Nawaz Sharif himself may eventually prove to be the greatest benefactor of
Pakistan’s political upheaval. There is little doubt he would serve a third time as
Prime Minister if given the opportunity. Some analysts speculate that Sharif is
angling for early new elections in which his party might overtake the PPP
nationally.27 Criminal convictions related to his overthrow by the army in 1999 stand
in the way of his future candidacy. With his past links to Pakistan’s Islamist parties
— his party’s 1990 poll win came only through alliance with Islamists and he later
pressed for passage of a Shariat (Islamist law) bill — and his sometimes strident anti-
Western rhetoric, Sharif is viewed warily by many in Washington.
Potential Coalition Discord. Never before in Pakistan’s history have the
country’s two leading political parties come together to share power. While many
observers praise the Murree Declaration as representing what could be a new
conciliatory style of party politics, others note that the PPP and PML-N spent most
of the 1990s as bitter enemies. The history of mutual party animosity in fact dates
to 1972, when Benazir’s father, then-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,28
nationalized industries owned by Nawaz Sharif’s father. Opposition to President
Musharraf’s continued power unites these parties at present, but with Musharraf
likely to fan the flames of party competition — and with his possibly imminent
departure from power removing the key unifying factor between them — many
analysts are pessimistic that a PPP-PML-N accommodation can last.
Several of Asif Zardari’s post-election moves reportedly have alarmed some
among his newfound political partners and spurred further doubt about the coalition’s
longevity. These include gestures toward the MQM party formerly allied with
President Musharraf and historically a bitter rival of the PPP in Karachi. Also, the
new defense minister, a PPP stalwart, issued statements laudatory of Musharraf,
spurring some observers to wonder anew about the PPP’s commitment to the anti-29
Musharraf agenda of its allies at the center. Moreover, intra-party rumblings in the

26 (...continued)
Bhutto, Musharraf issued a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which provides
amnesty for all politicians who served in Pakistan between 1988 and 1999, thus essentially
clearing Bhutto, Zardari, and others of pending and potential corruption charges. Officials
said the amnesty would not apply to former Prime Minister Sharif.
27 “Moeed Yusuf, “Well Played, Mr Sharif” (op-ed), Friday Times (Lahore), February 27,


28 “Decades of Enmity Threaten Pakistani Coalition, Say Analysts,” Agence France Presse,
February 22, 2008. See also “Doubts Linger Over Pakistan’s New Political Dawn,” Reuters,
February 28, 2008.
29 “PPP Co-Chairman Stuns Allies,” and Mir Jamilur Rahman, “A Depressing Spectacle”
(op-ed), both in News (Karachi), April 5, 2008; “PPP-PMLN Tensions Again?” (editorial),
Daily Times (Lahore), April 6, 2008.

PPP have triggered press reports of an impending split, potentially to be led by Sindh
party leaders unhappy with the Punjabi-heavy nature of the new federal cabinet.30
Restoration of Deposed Judges. As part of a six-week-long state of
emergency launched by President Musharraf on November 3, 2007, seven Supreme
Court justices, including the Chief Justice, and scores of High Court judges refused
to take a new oath of office and were summarily dismissed. The Supreme Court was
then reconstituted with justices appointed by Musharraf himself. The question of
whether and how to restore the Chief Justice and other deposed senior judges remains
a key divisive issue. Immediately upon taking office, the new Prime Minister ordered
all remaining detained judges to be released. In declaring an intention to restore the
pre-November 3 Supreme Court, the new civilian dispensation appeared to set itself
on a collision course with Musharraf. Reseating that court would almost certainly
lead to Musharraf’s removal from office, as the justices had appeared close to finding
his October reelection unconstitutional.
Pakistan’s recently retired Attorney General and longtime Musharraf ally, Malik
Qayyum, rejected the new government’s plan to reinstate the judges within 30 days,
saying their dismissal was constitutional and that efforts to reverse it through
executive order or parliamentary resolution would be futile. According to him, only
an amendment to the Constitution can reverse President Musharraf’s earlier actions.
Many legal experts cast doubt on Qayyum’s position, however, claiming that because
Musharraf’s emergency imposition was inherently unconstitutional (as ruled by the
Supreme Court on November 3, 2007, just before its reconstitution), all actions taken31
under that authority are invalid. Some detractors of the new government’s
intentions call the effort a farce rooted in a desire for revenge, and they seek
establishment of an independent judiciary without bringing back what critics have
termed “a group of biased, politicized, and vengeful judges.”32
The “lawyer’s movement” that arose in response to Musharraf’s March 2007
dismissal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (who was reseated in July) was a vital
facet of the pro-rule of law, anti-Musharraf sentiment that spread in Pakistan during
2007. It has not faded away: lawyers continue to boycott many courts and the
movement remains able to mobilize significant street protests, which Chaudhry
continues to publicly support. Nawaz Sharif himself has accused the U.S.
government of actively discouraging the restoration of the deposed judges.33 When
asked during a Senate hearing about the status of Supreme Court justices and other
judges dismissed under Musharraf’s emergency proclamation, Deputy Secretary John34

Negroponte conceded that the U.S. government had “been silent on the subject.”
30 See, for example, “Fahim, Ghinwa May Join Hands,” Post (Lahore), April 8, 2008.
31 “Legal Battle Looms Over Sacked Pakistan Judges,” Reuters, March 18, 2008; “Khalid
Jawed Khan,” Can the Judges Be restored?” (op-ed), Dawn (Karachi), March 18, 2008.
32 Ahmed Quraishi, “Politics of Revenge” (op-ed), News (Karachi), March 11, 2008.
33 “Pakistan TV Show Discusses Judges’ Restoration Issue,” BBC Monitoring South Asia,
March 18, 2008.
34 “Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. Holds a Hearing on U.S. Policy Options in Post-Election

Aitzaz Ahsan, the lawyer who lead the successful effort to have former Chief
Justice Chaudhry reseated earlier in 2007, has been at the forefront of the current
effort to restore the pre-November 3 judiciary. His post-emergency detention
attracted the attention of numerous U.S. Senators, who called for his immediate
release. Ahsan has accused the U.S. government of callousness regarding
Musharraf’s crackdown on the Supreme Court.35 A Punjabi, he could represent a
new power pole within the traditionally hierarchical PPP and is viewed by many as
a potential future party leader. Even before the PPP’s poll victory there were signs
that Zardari would seek to ensure party unity by offering Ahsan deputy status. On
March 2, Ahsan was released from four months of detention and was quickly back
in the public eye calling for the judges’ release and full restoration.
President Musharraf reportedly sought to make a deal in which he would
relinquish his powers to dissolve parliament if the opposition agreed to drop its
efforts to restore the deposed judges. Although this deal was not consummated, it
was taken by some as a sign of desperation from the Pakistani president, who finds
himself increasingly without allies or influence. Musharraf may be willing to accept
the judges’ restoration provided the Parliament order it with a two-thirds majority.36
There have been indications that the PPP’s central leader, Asif Zardari, may not
stand by the coalition’s agreement to restore the ousted judges. These include a
“charge sheet” in which Zardari reportedly holds some of the deposed Superior Court
justices responsible for his past imprisonment. Zardari may seek a judicial reforms
package rather than the “restoration of personalities.”37
Role of the Pakistani Military. The army’s role as a dominant political
player in Pakistan may be changing. Following President Musharraf’s November
resignation as army chief, the new leadership has shown signs of distancing itself
from both Musharraf and from direct involvement in the country’s governance. The
president’s handpicked successor, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, has issued orders
barring officers from holding unauthorized meetings with civilian leaders; dictated
that all active officers holding posts in civilian agencies resign from those positions;
and announced that the military’s only role in the election process would be
maintenance of security. He has since called for a “harmonized relationship between38
various pillars of state, as provided in the Constitution.” In late March, Gen.

34 (...continued)
Pakistan,” CQ Transcripts, February 28, 2008.
35 Aitzaz Ahsan, “Pakistan’s Tyranny Continues” (op-ed), New York Times, December 23,


36 “Musharraf Seeks Deal to Remain in Power,” Financial Times (London), March 12, 2008;
“Musharraf Is Quickly Losing His Grip On Pakistan,” Christian Science Monitor, March 24,
2008; “Judges Restoration By Two-Thirds Majority Acceptable,” News (Karachi), March

2, 2008.

37 “Zardari Issues ‘Charge Sheet,’” News (Karachi), April 5, 2008.
38 “Pakistan Military Retreats From Musharraf’s Influence,” McClatchy Newspapers,
January 18, 2008; “Army Chief Urges Harmony Among Pakistan’s Leaders,” Reuters,

Kayani exerted further influence by making his first major new appointments,
replacing two of the nine corps commanders appointed by Musharraf. The command
and control structure for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal reportedly will not
change under the new government. The National Command Authority — created in

2000 and chaired by the president — will retain control through military channels.39

Many analysts see Kayani as motivated to improve the image of the military as
an institution after a serious erosion of its status under Musharraf. His dictates and
rhetoric have brought accolades from numerous commentators. Any moves by the
army to interfere with Parliament’s actions on the deposed judges or potential
pressures to oust Musharraf quickly could, however, damage the non-partisan image
built in recent months.40
Implications for U.S. Policy
Pakistan’s relatively credible 2008 polls allowed the Bush Administration to
issue an April determination that a democratically elected government had been
restored in Islamabad after a 101-month hiatus. This determination permanently
removed coup-related aid sanctions that President Bush had been authorized to waive
annually if such a waiver was seen to serve U.S. interests.41 Both before and after the
elections, U.S. officials advocated for “moderate forces” within Pakistani politics to
come together to sustain political and economic reforms, and to carry on the fight
against religious extremism and terrorism. The catastrophic removal of Benazir
Bhutto from Pakistan’s political equation dealt a serious blow both to the cause of
Pakistani democratization and to U.S. interests. Given the plummeting popularity
and political influence of their key Pakistani ally, President Musharraf, over the
course of 2007, Bush Administration officials were seen to have no “Plan B” and
were left with few viable options beyond advocating a credible electoral process and
awaiting the poll results. With those results showing a sweeping rejection of
Musharraf’s parliamentary allies, the Administration found its long-standing policy
in some disarray and it now faces even greater pressures to work more closely with
civilian and military leaders beyond the president.42
By some accounts, the U.S. government sought to influence the coalition-
building process in Islamabad, in particular by pressuring the PPP to strike a deal
with the remnants of the Musharraf-friendly PML-Q.43 Some observers suspect the

38 (...continued)
March 6, 2008.
39 “Pakistan’s Nuclear Command Stays Unchanged: Official,” Reuters, April 8, 2008.
40 Hasan-Askari Rizvi, “Post-Musharraf Civil-Military Relations” (op-ed), Friday Times
(Lahore), April 4, 2008.
41 Federal Register 73, 69, p. 19276-19277, April 9, 2008.
42 “Washington’s New Pakistan Problem,” Time, March 28, 2008.
43 See, for example, “Zardari Resisted US, Presidency Pressures,” News (Karachi), February
22, 2008; “Pressure on Asif, Nawaz to Work With President,” Dawn (Karachi), February

Bush Administration remains wedded to a policy that would keep the embattled
Musharraf in power despite his weakness and lack of public support. According to
some reports, this tack may fuel interagency disputes in Washington, with some
career diplomats arguing that the United States could damage its position by
appearing to go against a clear popular mandate rejecting Musharraf.
Upon completion of Pakistan’s February 18 elections, the State Department
lauded the “step toward the full restoration of democracy.”44 When asked in
February about coalition-forming negotiations and the outstanding issue of the ousted
judiciary, a State Department spokesman summarized the U.S. view:
Ultimately, what we want to see happen is the formation of a government that’s
going to be an effective partner for the United States, not only in confronting
extremism but also in helping Pakistan achieve the broad-based goals for that
country’s political and economic development. In terms of the specifics of how
that’s done, of who winds up in a coalition, who winds up in which ministry,
what happens in terms of judicial reform or in terms of judicial appointments,
those are really matters for the Pakistanis themselves and for the new government45
to decide.
At the same time, a statement by the White House spokeswoman expressed
continued support for President Musharraf in the face of questions about post-
election calls for his resignation:
Well, the President does support President Musharraf for all of the work that he’s
done to help us in counterterrorism. And if you look at what we asked President
Musharraf to do — which is to take off the uniform, to set free and fair elections,
and to lift the emergency order — he did all of those things. And so now it will
be up to the people of Pakistan to see what their new government will look like.46
But the President does certainly support him, and has continued to.
By late March, however, when a new Parliament, Prime Minister, and federal cabinet
were being seated, senior Bush Administration officials appeared to be recognizing
the importance of a broader array of political figures in Islamabad and were vowing47
to work with all of them.
Most Pakistanis express a keen sensitivity to signs of U.S. attempts to influence
the post-election coalition-building negotiations, especially when such attempts were
seen to run contrary to the expressed will of the Pakistani electorate. The
continuation of perceived U.S. meddling in Pakistan’s domestic politics has elicited

43 (...continued)

23, 2008.

44 See [].
45 See [].
46 See [].
47 “Press Statement - Deputy Secretary John Negroponte,” U.S. Embassy Press Release,
March 27, 2008.

widespread resentment among Pakistanis.48 Many analysts urge the U.S. government
to respect Pakistani sovereignty and self-determination by allowing the Pakistanis to
determine their own political arrangements without foreign interference.49
The Bush Administration’s public statements reflect a willingness to do just
this, at least at a rhetorical level. In what was taken to be a clear indication of
shifting U.S. policy, visiting Deputy Secretary Negroponte — who had in late 2007
described the Pakistani president as an “indispensable ally” of the United States —
offered little in the way of public defense for Musharraf and called his future status
a matter to be determined by “the internal Pakistani political process.”50
Considerable criticism had arisen in the Pakistani press over the timing of
Negroponte’s visit, with some commentators expressing anger that American
officials were intruding before the new government’s formation was complete. A
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman sought to clarify that the visit had been
planned for some time and its concurrence with formation of the new government
was merely coincidental. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed the claim,
adding that she had hoped the timing of the Negroponte-Boucher visit would be taken
as a “sign of respect” for Pakistan’s democratic processes.51
Upon returning from a trip that included observing the Pakistani elections,
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Joe Biden concluded that
Pakistan had “passed the most important test” by holding reasonably free and fair
polls, and he again argued that the United States “should move from a Musharraf
policy to a Pakistani policy.” During a subsequent Senate Foreign Relations
Committee hearing on Pakistan, Biden proposed tripling U.S. economic and
development aid to $1.5 billion, adding an annual “democracy dividend” of $1
billion to reward Islamabad if the government there is able to continue a peaceful
transition to democracy, and demanded transparency and accountability in continued
military aid.52 Proposals to increase U.S. assistance to Pakistan may be gaining wider
acceptance in Congress of late.53

48 “US Support for Musharraf Rousing Anti-American Feeling in Pakistan,” Associated
Press, February 29, 2008; “U.S. Embrace of Musharraf Irks Pakistanis,” New York Times,
February 29, 2008; “Hands Off Please, Uncle Sam” (editorial), News (Karachi), March 25,

2008; “American ‘Interference’ and Our Rage” (editorial), Daily Times (Lahore), March 27,


49 See, for example, Robert Hathaway, “Needed: New Terms of Engagement,” Friday Times
(Lahore), March 3, 2008.
50 “US Says No Meddling to Save Musharraf,” Associated Press, March 27, 2008. See also
“US Offers Support for Pakistan’s Parties,” Associated Press, March 11, 2008.
51 See []; Secretary
Rice, “Interview With the Washington Times Editorial Board,” March 27, 2008.
52 “Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. John Kerry Hold a News Conference on Their Recent
Trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and India,” CQ Transcripts, February 26, 2008; “Sen.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. Holds a Hearing on U.S. Policy Options in Post-Election Pakistan,” CQ
Transcripts, February 28, 2008.
53 “U.S. Offers Pakistan Assistance,” Reuters, March 28, 2008.

After meeting with numerous Pakistani officials in Islamabad in late March,
Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte said,
[T]he U.S.-Pakistan partnership remains strong, and we envision a continued
close, productive alliance that benefits both countries. The United States is
committed to working with all of Pakistan’s leaders on the full spectrum of
bilateral issues, from fighting violent extremism to improving educational and
economic opportunities.... In the months ahead, the United States looks forward
to engaging Pakistan’s new government on how best to promote economic
growth and reduce poverty. The United States will continue to help the Pakistani54
people build a secure, prosperous, and free society.
In 2008, and for the first time in more than eight years, the United States must deal
with a new political dispensation in Islamabad that may agree on the need to combat
religious extremism, but that may differ fundamentally on the methods by which to
do so. In their first official meetings with the new government, visiting U.S. officials
received a reported “dressing down,” in particular from Nawaz Sharif, who declined
to give Negroponte “a commitment” on fighting terrorism.
President Bush telephoned new Pakistani Prime Minister Gillani on March 25,
reportedly having a “good conversation” in which the two leaders agreed that U.S.
and Pakistani interests are best served by continuing to fight terrorism and
extremism. On this basis, the White House anticipates Pakistan’s “continued
cooperation.”55 The leader of a late March U.S. congressional delegation to
Islamabad reportedly came away with a clear sense that Pakistan’s new leaders will
continue to cooperate closely with the United States on counterterrorism.56 There are,
however, ongoing concerns in Washington that the new Islamabad government will
curtail militarized efforts to combat Islamist militants and instead seek negotiations
with Pakistan’s pro-Taliban forces.
Prime Minster Gillani has identified terrorism and extremism as Pakistan’s most
urgent problems. He vows that combatting terrorism, along with addressing poverty
and unemployment, will be his government’s top priority. Foreign Minister Qureshi
has said the new government does not intend to negotiate with terrorists, but does
believe in “political engagement.” In a subsequent telephone conversation with
Secretary of State Rice, Qureshi vowed that Pakistan would “continue its role in the
international struggle against terrorism” and he emphasized a need to facilitate this
effort through economic development in the FATA.57
The Islamists’ electoral defeat is not necessarily a victory for U.S. interests in
the region, as the ANP-led government in the North West Frontier Province could
offer its own resistance to the kinds of militarized approaches to countering militancy

54 See [].
55 See [].
56 “Tierney: Pakistan Will Cooperate With US,” Boston Globe, March 29, 2008.
57 “Pakistan Vows No Talks With Terrorists,” Associated Press, April 7, 2008 Pakistan
foreign Affairs Ministry press release at [
April/PR_087_08.htm] .

reportedly favored by Washington.58 The ANP is expected to play a central role in
planned negotiations with militant groups. While Prime Minister Gillani promises
to open a dialogue with religious extremists who lay down their arms, the new
NWFP Chief Minister, ANP figure Amir Haider Khan Hoti, asserts that the problem
cannot be solved by speaking only to tribal elders, but at some point must include the
militants themselves. Hoti has demanded that the United States end its suspected
missile attacks on Pakistani territory and calls for military action against extremists
only as a last resort. The ANP also asserts that the Pakistan army is not a party to the
conflict in the tribal areas and so will not have a seat at any negotiation table.59

58 “Islamists’ Loss Is Not a U.S. Win in Pakistan,” Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2008;
“Moderates Hold Key in Pakistan,” New York Times, March 26, 2008.
59 “Pakistan Rethinks US Policy on Militants,” BBC News, April 1, 2008; “Pakistan”U.S.
Must Stop Missile Strikes,” McClatchy News, April 2, 2008; “Army Not Party to FATA
Conflict: ANP,” News (Karachi), April 6, 2008.

Figure 1. Map of Pakistan