(New Yorker.com) by Steve Coll
Moreover, in his speech, Khan did not reject accommodation with the Trump Administration, which has suspended aid to the country, attempted to pressure the Army to arrest members of the Taliban and other militant leaders hiding in its territory, and tried to support a serious peace process to stabilize Afghanistan. With the United States, “We want to have a mutually beneficial relationship,” Khan said. “Up until now, that has been one-way. The U.S. thinks it gives us aid to fight their war.” He added, “We want a balanced relationship.”
If Khan does become the Prime Minister, he will inherit an economy in crisis, with debts rising and foreign reserves shrinking, likely presaging yet another painful round of bailout negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. The economy is growing, with the gross domestic product forecast to rise nearly six per cent this year, but corruption, persistent terrorist violence, and decades of bad government have saddled the country with an almost bottomless list of structural problems, such as illiteracy, sectarianism, and public-health crises. It’s no wonder that the Army does not wish to run Pakistan directly these days. Better to let ambitious civilian politicians like Khan take on the intractable problems, while the generals take care of themselves offstage. If Khan actually changes Pakistan in the ways that he has promised, it will be a greater miracle than any of those he achieved on the cricket pitch.