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Imran Khan, the presumptive next prime minister of Pakistan, addresses his supporters during a campaign rally in Lahore, Pakistan, July 23, 2018 (AP photo by K.M. Chaudary).

From the U.S. to Iran, Pakistan’s Khan Faces Five Foreign Policy Tests

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

Pakistan’s new government, which takes office on Aug. 18, will confront a raft of pressing challenges at home. They include a looming economic crisis; an unhappy political opposition, led by the previously ruling PMLN party, which could seek to obstruct the government’s legislative measures; and the omnipresent threat of extremism.

Foreign policy won’t be the initial focus of presumptive Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration in Islamabad. Still, Khan faces five major foreign policy tests requiring immediate attention. How he responds to them will offer an early read on his government’s thinking on foreign policy. His actions will also help determine the extent to which the Pakistani military, which has long held a veto on foreign policy, may try to shape the agenda of the centrist Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, now in power. Finally, Khan’s early moves on foreign policy will help determine the trajectory of the broader civil-military relationship in Pakistan. ...

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