ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hope in Pakistan

The current political crisis in Pakistan may be an indicator of larger social changes.

One of the most significant bits of news coming from Pakistan in the recent past has not been the sabrerattling of its military or the clash between its judiciary and executive. It is that its president, Asif Ali Zardari, and prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, have stood up to the military and even taken the political fight into the heart of the military establishment. As many observers have already noted, a similar confrontation with the military a few years ago would have led to the ouster of the civilian government in a coup.

The prime minister has termed the actions of Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and those of the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (isi), Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as “unconstitutional and illegal” and has sacked the defence secretary, a former lieutenant general and close confidant of Kayani, for “gross misconduct and illegal actions”. Despite protests and threats, the military’s top brass has largely had to lump the accusations and move on.

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