Thinking Aloud: Tug-of-War in Pakistan

Thinking Aloud: Tug-of-War in Pakistan

Not What You Might Think

May 26, 2014 by Darius 

Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, made a historic trip to New Delhi to attend today’s swearing-in of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.  It was the first such trip and could pave the way for better Indo-Pakistani relations, but Sharif’s trip also represents the latest skirmish in a war within Pakistan over who controls the direction of the state.  

On one side is the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence service) and Pakistan’s military, which for more than 65 years have favored a stance of confrontation against India.  On the other side is Sharif, who believes Pakistan has bigger problems than India and favors cooperation with India where necessary.  On the issue of Modi’s swearing-in, Sharif won this round: he made the trip to New Delhi over the objections of the ISI.  But this turf war is playing out in other areas of Pakistani life.

One of…

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