Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan’s general and the warring politicians

Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani is much talked about these days as the one national figure who could lean on Pakistan's warring politicians to back down from a confrontation threatening the stability of the country. The question is over how he would intervene while maintaining a commitment to keep the army out of politics.

Most analysts have ruled out a coup for now and in an interview with PBS Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he believed Kayani was committed to a civilian government.

But between a military coup and non-intervention lies a huge grey area in terms of how far Kayani will, or can, go to put pressure on political rivals President Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to back down.

In an editorial in The News, defence analyst Ikram Sehgal says that while negotiators shuttle back and forth between the two parties to try to find a compromise, "the ultimate answer for this political confrontation will probably emanate from Rawalpindi", the headquarters of the Pakistan Army. "While the Army has no business running the government, will it be responsible and/or patriotic to stand by and see the government and the opposition run the country out of existence?" he asks.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan: has it reached the edge of the precipice?

Maybe this always happens at times of national upheaval. But there is a surprising disconnect between the immediacy of the crisis facing Pakistan as expressed by Pakistani bloggers and the more slow-moving debate taking place in the outside world over the right strategy to adopt towards both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reading Pakistani blogs since confrontation between the country's two main political parties exploded and comparing them to international commentaries is a bit like watching men shout that their house is on fire, and then panning over to the fire station where the folks in charge are debating which type of water hose works best.