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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/14/13

The Elections in Pakistan, The Potential Effect on U.S. Policy and Actions in that Country

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Newly elected Nawaz Sharif poised to return as Prime Minister of Pakistan




The Pakistani's held their parliamentary elections over the weekend and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to return to power.

Sharif was the prime minister from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1997 to 1999 when he was ousted in a coup engineered by the military that brought General Pervez Musharof to power.

After the coup Sharif lived in exile in Saudi Arabia until 2007, returning to Pakistan shortly before Musharof resigned in 2008.

In these elections Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Party won 46% of the seats in the National Assembly and with independent lawmakers winning seats, he should easily form a government.

Sharif's main rival was Imran Khan, the former star cricket player turned politician who during his campaign rallies appealed to popular sentiment by saying he'd end the CIA drone strikes and order the Pakistani military to shoot down American aircraft if necessary.

Sharif has also promised to rein in America's influence in Pakistan and review relations with the U.S. Yet these "ties" with the U.S. have been within the purview of the Pakistani military, the institution that ruled Pakistan for half of its 65 year history and surely will be a challenge to Sharif's civilian rule over the military. That military has been the recipient of billions in American military hardware and will not take kindly to any changes in relations with the U.S. that could jeopardize that arrangement.

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