CRF Blog

Sharif versus Sharif

by David De La Torre

In Sharif versus Sharif, The Economist looks at the battle between Pakistan’s prime minister and its generals.

WHEN he romped to victory in Pakistan’s general election last summer, Nawaz Sharif looked to be the man who might finally bring to heel the over- mighty army that, 14 years earlier, had deposed him during his second stint as prime minister and sent him into exile. Taming the army was always going to be a tall order in a country that generals have ruled for almost half its history and whose (often self- defeating) foreign and defence policies they have always controlled. But Mr Sharif had advantages which no previous civilian leader had enjoyed: an outright parliamentary majority; an independent- minded media; and an opposition that was unlikely to be beguiled by military plots, having suffered from them itself.

Yet a year on, his attempt to make Pakistan into a country where civilians are supreme is foundering. [more]