Nawaz Sharif has become prime minister of Pakistan for an unprecedented third term, and official Washington is greeting his return to power with cautious optimism. There is an overriding sense that it is in the United States’ interest for Sharif to succeed, even if his government will be less “pro-American” than its predecessor. The looming question is whether Sharif has learned from the past: Have the experiences of collapsed governments and lengthy exile turned him into a committed democrat and statesman, or will his authoritarian, crony-capitalist tendencies resurface?
The stakes are high. If Sharif’s government can stabilize Pakistan’s economy, improve domestic security and normalize relations with neighboring India and Afghanistan, there will be reason for hope that his nuclear-armed country of nearly 200 million people can, in time, remove itself from lists of “failing states” and follow a path to growth, stability and sustainable democracy.… Seguir leyendo »