Why Pakistan’s Government Gave In to the Demands of Islamist Protesters

Supporters of Pakistan's Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party celebrate after Law Minister Zahid Hamid's resignation, Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 27, 2017 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).
Supporters of Pakistan's Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party celebrate after Law Minister Zahid Hamid's resignation, Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 27, 2017 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).
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On Nov. 27, after weeks of unrest in and around Islamabad, Pakistan’s government signed an agreement with Islamist protesters giving in to their demands for the resignation of the country’s embattled law minister, Zahid Hamid. The government’s concession to the protesters, and the need for the military leadership to mediate the affair, has raised serious questions about the state of Pakistan’s democracy and the power of Islamist groups. In an email interview, Shehzad Qazi, a nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Policy, explains what was driving the turmoil and what the outcome says about Pakistan’s struggling political system. WPR: […]

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