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Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, at a seminar in Gwadar on development and security, Balochistan, April 12, 2016 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).

Corruption Scandal and Coup Rumors Put Pakistan’s Sharif on the Hot Seat

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016

Last month, as an attempted military putsch was put down in Turkey, posters lining streets across Pakistan beckoned the country’s popular army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, to take over in a coup. The posters have since been taken down, and the man responsible for them arrested. But the question still remains: Is the Pakistani military poised to take over?

The last time Pakistan experienced a coup, in October 1999, the context was markedly different from today. At the time, Pakistan was reeling economically, in part due to U.S. sanctions over the country’s May 1998 nuclear tests. Civil-military relations had gone into freefall after the army, without informing the prime minister, launched a reckless incursion into the Kargil region of India-controlled Kashmir, almost precipitating a fourth war between the nuclear-powered neighbors. ...

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