first_img“Air corridors are readily closed and drones are easy to”Air corridors are readily closed and drones are easy to shoot down, so if Pakistan had really wanted to end what in 2009, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta called the “only game in town in terms of confronting and trying to disrupt the al-Qaida leadership,” or to further complicate the US war effort in Afghanistan, it could have done so without breaking much of a sweat. It still could,” Markey said.He said in order to justify major policy shifts like eliminating aid, labelling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, or enacting sanctions, US policymakers should be able to explain how such actions would make America?s strategic predicament easier.In the process, they would need to consider the possibility that US attempts at coercion could backfire, raising tensions and weakening Pakistan in ways that only make Islamabad less willing or able to advance any constructive agenda.In his testimony, Markey said during the past several years, Pakistans army has on multiple occasions reasserted its dominance over civilian politicians.”At least some of Pakistans top brass are reportedly unsatisfied with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, blaming his government for ineffective rule or labelling him unfit for a variety of other reasons,” he said.Over the past six months, there has been media speculation that the prime minister might step down because of his failing health or because his family was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, or that the current army chief, General Raheel Sharif, might be granted an extension rather than handing over his baton in November as scheduled, he said.advertisement”Simultaneously, political opposition parties are once again campaigning for Nawaz Sharifs ouster. In short, it is difficult to predict precisely who will be running Pakistan when Americas next president takes office,” he said. Under similar conditions in decades past, Pakistan might be ripe for a coup, he noted.Now the military is playing a savvier game, pulling the nations strings from behind a curtain so as to avoid the taint of dictatorship and, perhaps more importantly, to shirk its responsibility for improving the quality of governance.”But this puppet show may not be so easily sustained. Political turmoil has considerable disruptive potential in the short run. More worrisome, a sham democracy will have dangerous vulnerabilities over the long run, depriving the state of popular legitimacy in the midst of an existential confrontation with Islamist insurgency,” Markey said. PTI LKJ AJRlast_img

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