Pakistan After Musharraf: The 2008 Elections

Issue Date October 2008
Volume 19
Issue 4
Page Numbers 5-15
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On 18 February 2008, for the first time in Pakistan's 61-year history, a relatively free and fair national election brought about a peaceful transition of power after a government had completed its full term in office, setting the stage for General Pervez Musharraf's resignation from the presidency six months later. Yet even given these favorable conditions, democracy in Pakistan may be derailed by deep-seated problems that democracy, by itself, cannot solve, including rising Islamist militancy, antigovernment feeling, and deepening poverty among masses of young people. Pakistan now faces the classic "chicken-and-egg" problem of democratic development.