Eurasia Group | Pakistan: A perfect storm threatens Musharraf's hold on power 

Pakistan: A perfect storm threatens Musharraf's hold on power 

30 January 2007

Eurasia Group is pleased to release the seventh year-ahead outlook in our series of "Top 7 political risks for 2007," in which analysts from the Asia practice consider political risks associated with the challenges facing President Pervez Musharraf as he attempts to maintain internal stability and win re-election while moving his government away from ties with pro-Taliban Islamists.

According to the outlook, "Musharraf's inability to control a rampant Islamic insurgency along the border with Afghanistan, coupled with the likelihood that he will have to rig upcoming parliamentary elections to stay in power, could erode Western support for his government and ignite political protests at home that force him to relinquish some or all of his executive power in 2007 or early 2008. Any political turmoil will increase political uncertainty and could, in the short term, slow Pakistan's cautious campaign against Islamic extremism."

Short-term instability, however, may ultimately produce a positive outcome in the long term should it involve greater political participation by the main opposition parties, according to analysts. "Over the longer term, fundamentalist groups will be contained only if opposition parties like the PPP and PML-N are allowed full participation in the political system, and at least some anti-government groups in Balochistan and NWFP's tribal region are given a political outlet to express dissent."

The Top 7 Political Risks: 
1. Iran 
2. Nigeria 
3. Iraq 
4. Turkey 
5. Russia 
6. China 
7. Pakistan