Washington, Sep 9 : The US hopes that Pakistan's new President Asif Ali Zardari will provide some stability within the government so that it can get down to the task of countering the terrorism and extremism that currently threatens the country.
isa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation, America's leading conservative think tank, is of the view that for the last several months, political infighting has created a power vacuum in Pakistan that the extremists have exploited.
She points that the new Pakistani president is controversial within the country because of allegations of corruption, he will now be judged on whether or not he can save Pakistan from slipping further into an abyss of terrorism and extremism, the Daily Times reported.
His tough statements against al Qaeda and the Taliban have been encouraging to the US, and he will now have to make the case to his own countrymen, who blame the US for Pakistan's problems and seek to distance the country from the US-led war in Afghanistan, Curtis argues.
Zardari must therefore avoid looking like a "US man," while explaining the importance of adopting a tough stance against terrorism for the sake of Pakistan's own future, and he will not be able to do this without the support of the Army, she added.
Curtis believes that if the opposition continues to call for some powers of the Presidency - such as the power to dismiss parliament - to be rolled back, Zardari will find himself quickly distracted from addressing serious challenges.
It would be better for the political parties to develop a level of reconciliation that would see the country through this delicate stage, rather than allow continued political infighting to slowly tear the system apart and lead to the strengthening of radical elements or the return to military rule, she concludes.