Dr. Isaac Kfir, researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, examines threats to the Pakistani state and international implications relating to Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Islamic, ethno-nationalist groups and the Taliban are gaining influence, and Pakistan remains one of the likely hiding places for bin Laden and other senior members of al-Qaeda. Additional difficulty is rooted in the legal crisis following President Musharraf’s decision to suspend the country’s Chief Justice.
In order to prevent Islamists from winning upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, Musharraf might push for a postponement. However, both of these scenarios (postponement or the ascension of an Islamist government) would damage Pakistan’s global standing.