Starting from the perceived corrupt political hierarchy (though military is no different or at times may even be worst) to the well disciplined command and control within Army and so significant street power to oppose it, Pakistani military is deemed best choice for US administrations when it comes to advancing political and military interests and objectives in the region. Though there is overall drift towards supporting PERFORMANCE FABRIC civil liberties and political freedoms (the reason for sudden frequent usage of the term “civil society”) but the dream of a liberal democratic system immune from military interventions is still far away. It will be considered a big achievement of present government if it successfully completes its tenure, though with American support, and takes symbolic steps in the direction of complete civilian control of strategic policies of the country including armed forces and intelligence apparatus of Pakistan. There are visible signs that government is striving and struggling for the aforementioned objectives.
President Zardari’s statement that India is not a threat to Pakistan, presence of Hamid Karzai in the oath taking ceremony of the President and the government directive of putting ISI under control of Interior ministry are few examples of checkered storyboard. There is at least convergence of interest between the two governments in the later objective of laying Pakistani intelligence apparatus under full civilian scrutiny and check and balances. For American’s it means least trouble in Afghanistan and for Pakistan it is about more independent elections and politics. The other important issue which is going to be discussed during the talks between the two presidents is the acute shortage of energy Pakistan is facing, its devastating impact on industries, political cost and the options available.