Political turmoil in Pakistan may hurt American interests in region: US media

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WASHINGTON - The current political turmoil in Pakistan may hurt American interests if the PPP-led coalition government crumbles and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comes back to power, the US media reported.

The Washington Post noted that instability of the Zardari government could also hamper US efforts to convince Pakistan to take more action against extremists and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups hiding in the tribal areas, the Dawn reports.

“If the government does fall, the biggest beneficiary could be Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N. The party is more religiously conservative than the PPP or the MQM and it has not been as vocal in opposing the Taliban,” said a report in the Post.

It also noted that Pakistanis were still reeling from this year’s massive floods and persistent electricity shortages, and political instability at this stage could further hurt the country’s fragile economy.

A report in the Wall Street Journal said that political instability in Pakistan also could complicate US efforts to help stabilise the government, as part of its efforts to stamp out militant Islamic groups in the region.

“The US is betting a stable Pakistan is more likely to cooperate in the war against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, who use the country’s border areas with Afghanistan as a safe haven from which to launch attacks on US troops,” the newspaper observed.

It noted that Washington was pumping billions of dollars in military and civilian aid into the Zardari administration, whose term runs through 2013.

Fox News warned that the current political turmoil could actually cause the ruling coalition to crumble.

The news channel however observed that “America’s medium-term interests in the region wouldn’t necessarily be damaged by a return to military rule”. (ANI)

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