Delaying tactics by ISAF

The current election fever in Pakistan is high in comparison to any other elections previously. It seems as if everyone is geared to look for a change, knowing in their hearts that nothing will change. But they still seem hopeful. Though the general perception is that election will be held on May 11, 2013, but it would be fair to speculate that they may be delayed. ISAF forces from Afghanistan will be pulling out in 2014 and they will need to do it smoothly.

The current elections, through the global prism, will give us a very clear insight into what will happen. USA will never let Pakistan have a strong and independent government, as it may be acceptable to ISAF and its allies and be helpful in withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. A strong government may create hurdles for them by demanding better treatment and some payment in kind from ISAF forces. On the other hand, a weak government, with no political mandate, may be more suitable for global players to achieve their targets in Pakistan and this region.

That’s where the caretaker government comes in, as a caretaker government does not have any political mandate, a permission of extension by the judiciary could validate their rule. Once permitted, the caretaker setup can start ‘Operation Cleanup’ in Pakistan by targeting corrupt elements in the society and negotiating deals with the superpower for a face saving exit from Afghanistan. Surprisingly, both major parties of Pakistan, PML-N and PPP and their associates would endorse such a move as they would not want to be in parliament when ISAF and American forces leave Kabul, as any weak negotiation on their part, would tarnish their image in public eye and affect their political future.