2. Will the Army oust the government?
Though the Army has ruled Pakistan directly for half of the country’s 64 year history, analysts say it’s increasingly unlikely that the Army will forcibly oust the civilian government this time, because it just wouldn’t be popular with the media, Supreme Court, or the general public.
If the government is to be dismissed before elections, it’s more likely to come “legally” via a Supreme Court ruling. Right now, Pakistan is closely watching two high profile cases just for that reason.
The Supreme Court is investigating the Memo-gate scandal, pitting the Army and civilian government against each other in court. On Jan. 16, the Supreme Court charged Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani with contempt for failing to re-open corruption cases dating back to the 1990s against President Asif Ali Zardari.
If Mr. Gilani is found guilty, his jailing and dismissal from office could create a power vacuum that could be used to help the Army install a pro-military interim government.
Adding further interest, Mansoor Ijaz is due to appear before the court on Jan. 25, and has promised to unleash what he describes as damning revelations – that could send Pakistan’s hyperactive media into overdrive and further damage the government’s fragile reputation.