Will Zardari be a Steady Hand at the Helm of Dangerous Pakistan?

The widower of Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, will be Pakistan’s next president after winning a majority in today’s elections.

Zardari wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post on Thursday in which he promised, if elected, to amend the consitution to reduce the powers of the presidency, enhance the power of the legislature, and restore an independent judiciary. He also pledged to “work to defeat the domestic Taliban insurgency and to ensure that Pakistani territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on our neighbors or on NATO forces in Afghanistan.”

Will he follow through on these promises? We’ll see.

Steve Coll asks another interesting question: Given that Zardari seeks to bring Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal under greater civilian control (it’s now controlled by the country’s military), should we worry about reports that Zardari suffers from “dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder”?

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