An Old Crisis For Pakistan Already Exploded
Why the political situation in Pakistan in turmoil now ?
A detailed report by Reuters exploring this reasons behind the current crisis in Pakistan that may endanger the one year old Democratically elected government.
WHAT IS THE PROTEST ABOUT?
The cross-country protest motor convoy, known as a long march and due to begin in the south on Thursday, fuses two strands of opposition to the government led by the party of President Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the late Benazir Bhutto.
Anti-government lawyers campaigning for an independent judiciary have been joined by the political opposition.
The protest is aimed at securing the restoration of a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry, sacked by former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf in 2007.
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WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Pakistan's latest attempt at democracy is at risk.
Musharraf's successor as army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, has vowed to keep the army out of politics. But, the danger is that if the crisis becomes acute, the military, which has ruled for more than half the country's 61 years of history, will feel forced to act.
The army has little reason to back Sharif, even if Zardari is widely unpopular and disliked by hawkish elements who distrust his pro-West stance and dovishness toward India.
Sharif had bad relations with at least three army chiefs during the 1990s. Morever, the West is wary of Sharif, believing that he panders to the religious/nationalist constituency that opposes the war on terrorism.
The United States wants Pakistan to focus on fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda, and doesn't want the army to be diverted by politics, or, analysts say, drawn into helping Sharif.
Beleaguered stocks and the rupee, which both fell sharply last year, have been under pressure on worry about politics.