THE DECISION: Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is disqualified from office after failing to open a corruption case against the country’s president, Asif Ali Zardari. Both Zardari and Gilani are members of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
THE IMPACT IN PAKISTAN: The government must decide whether to fight the court decision and try to keep Gilani in office or nominate another candidate. With the party-led coalition’s majority in Parliament, it may be able to replace Gilani and stay in control until elections next year.
THE IMPACT ON US RELATIONS: The Pakistani government has been dealing with this developing political crisis, so it has not had the time or political will to tackle weighty issues such as Taliban reconciliation. The Pakistan People’s Party is also unlikely to want to take the unpopular position of reopening supply lines to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Once close albeit wary allies in the fight against the Taliban and terrorists, the two countries have become increasingly antagonistic.