An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on political upheaval in Pakistan.
The attack on the authority of the Pakistani state that is being played out on the front pages of today’s newspapers has been building up for the better part of a decade. Reestablishing a stronger political and state structure is possible, but becomes more difficult each time the state appears to cede control to the insurgents. The U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan acknowledges the central importance of strengthening the Pakistani state. In practice, the United States has only indirect influence over the key ingredient in such an effort—the determination of Pakistan’s leaders and the effectiveness of its basic government institutions.
Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies‘ South Asia Monitor on May 1, 2009. Read the entire article.
An article by Jeffrey Ellis and Teresita C. Schaffer on the implications of the February 2008 parliamentary elections in Pakistan.
The excitement of Pakistan’s February 18 election, a sharp rebuff to President Pervez Musharraf and his ruling party, has given way to intense maneuvering to form the next government and to anxiety about how a divided political leadership will tackle the country’s formidable problems. The United States has pledged to work with all of Pakistan’s political players and has apparently moved away from its emphasis on Musharraf. Its main concern will be with the effectiveness of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations in and near the border areas with Afghanistan.
Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies‘ South Asia Monitor on March 10, 2008. Read the entire article.
An article by Teresita C. Schaffer on the run-up to the 2008 parliamentary elections in Pakistan in light of the events of 2007, including President Pervez Musharraf’s retirement from the army and the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Pakistan needs a government that will undertake the long and difficult task of building up Pakistan’s institutions, countering its domestic extremists, and managing the tangled relationships with Pakistan’s neighbours. The first requirement for such a government is legitimacy. Both for Pakistan’s future and for Western policy interests, this is the time to put legitimacy first.
Originally published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the February-March 2008 issue of Survival. Read the entire article.