IN OTHER WORDS
After an auspicious start, the leaders of Pakistan’s new coalition government have let political rivalries thwart their efforts to rebuild their country. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif withdrew his party’s ministers from the cabinet on Monday in a dispute with his rival, Asif Ali Zardari, over when and how to reinstate dozens of dismissed judges.
The judiciary has been at the heart of Pakistan’s political dynamic. The country’s two main opposition parties - led by Zardari and Sharif - won control of Parliament in February, promising to quickly reinstate the judges. But they have not been able to agree on how to do that. Pakistan needs its judges reinstated. But it also needs the coalition government to hold together.
The US must make clear, that its goal is not to keep Musharraf in office but to help the civilian government survive and prosper. The new government has many problems to deal with, including rising food prices, a deepening economic crisis and a resurgent Taliban and Al Qaeda. Sharif said his party would back the government. And Pakistan’s Army seems to be living up to its promise to stay out of politics. Zardari and Sharif now need to remember that the only one likely to gain from the collapse of the coalition government is the man it sought to marginalise: President Musharraf. — The New York Times