May 7, 2009
Nawaz Sharif: Third Time's the Charm?
Haider Mullick, Foreign Policy
Head of his own wing of the Pakistan Muslim League party, Sharif is marketing himself at home and in Washington as a bulwark of democracy against the rising tide of Talibanization. In an April interview with USA Today, for example, he criticized Taliban militants for advocating a harsh version of sharia and vowed to roll back their territorial gains.
Sharif's timing has never been better. Taliban insurgents were within 60 miles of the capital last week; a government peace deal with pro-Taliban clerics in the Swat Valley has fallen apart; and despite recent upticks in effort, the Pakistani military seems unable (or unwilling) to truly engage in the fight.
Some improvements in the situation -- of the kind Sharif promises -- would be music to American ears. And unlike the Bush...
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