Pakistan is a nation caught in the turmoil of conflict and disunion, not merely within its own territory, but on its border with Afghanistan. Its leaders have only recently assumed office only to be confronted with a president who is vastly unpopular, but still retains enormous power. The United States continually denounces inaction on the part of Pakistan as the root cause of terrorist success in Afghanistan. The ruling coalition which challenged President Musharraf has broken apart as the economy heads down and there are still conflicts with India. Leaders of Pakistan came together yesterday in an effort to resolve internal conflicts so the nation could proceed with addressing its major issues of peace, economic development, and restoration of democracy.
Sharif Nawaz, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N sent his brother to represent him at the meeting with Prime Minister Gilani, and Asif Ali Zardari, who co-chairs the Pakistan People’s Party. Gilani emphasized there was need to decide how to handle the volatile northwest region which is the center of terrorist activity and the cause of American unhappiness. The Americans want military action, but the initial focus of the coalition has been on diplomacy in dealing with tribal chieftains in the region as well as trying to talk the Taliban into ending its activities.
A major source of concern to the PML-N is their desire to force President Musharraf from office and restore to power the judges he deposed. The PPP prefers dealing with economic issues and resolving problems with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Unless, Pakistan moves as a united government, there is scant hope any issues can be resolved in the forseeable future.