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Media Conference Call: Ryan Crocker and Daniel Markey on Pakistani Elections

Presider: Anya Schmemann, Director of CFR Task Force Program, Council on Foreign Relations
Speakers: Ryan Crocker, Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, and Daniel S. Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations
April 1, 2013, New York
Council on Foreign Relations


ANYA SCHMEMANN: Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and happy April 1. I am Anya Schmemann; I'm director of CFR's Task Force Program, and I am pleased to welcome you all to this on-the-record call today to discuss Pakistan.

We're joined by my colleague, Daniel Markey, CFR's senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia. And Dan is the author of a recent CFR Policy Innovation Memorandum about Pakistan's upcoming parliamentary elections. He says in that memorandum that the United States should avoid playing favorites and should encourage a rules-based process for leadership transitions in Pakistan.

We're very pleased to be joined by a special guest today, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who is a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. He was also U.S. ambassador to Iraq, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, among several other important posts.

So thank you to the two of you, and welcome to the call.

Pakistan is scheduled to hold elections in May that will usher in, hopefully, a new civilian government. But many Pakistanis are skeptical that the military will allow the process to be completed in a fair and transparent manner. And Pakistan faces a number of challenges, not least of which is continuing violence and insecurity.

So Dan, if you will, give us a quick overview. What is the significance of these elections? Who are the main contenders, and what are the prospects for a peaceful and orderly outcome?

DANIEL MARKEY: Sure. Thanks, Anya. Thanks, everybody, for joining.

OK. So the first big point to make would be simply that these elections are significant, if only because they mark the beginning of what we hope will be a second five-year term of a National Assembly following on what is, in Pakistan, an unprecedented five-year term of a civilian government that came out of democratic elections without as much military intervention as has been previously the case, and without interruption.

So that in itself is significant. May 11th will be the date of national elections, assuming nothing happens before then. They will also have provincial assembly elections. And that's not the end of what will be a very exciting year in terms of Pakistan political leadership transitions and likely changes.

In September President Zardari will reach the end of his term. And although it's possible that he will stay on, it's also quite possible that he will be voted out too. In November, the army chief is slated to leave office. And in December another major power player in Pakistani politics and in government, is the supreme court chief justice, is slated to retire. So all in all, you could see at the end of this year an entirely different cast of characters in charge in Islamabad.

As for the likely winners and losers, it's always difficult to prognosticate at this stage of the game, but I was in Pakistan a few weeks back and it's pretty clear that party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N, is favored to do well in the upcoming elections, that the PPP, the current head of the ruling coalition led by President Zardari and perhaps also by his son and son of Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto, is likely to lose seats -- by some estimates lose as many as 40 seats in the National Assembly, which would take it into the opposition.

And it's possible that other parties will have, you know, significant showings -- perhaps even some new parties including the PTI, the party of Imran Khan, the former cricket star -- are unlikely to have any sort of capacity to win the elections or win a ruling plurality even, but could be in a position to be a kingmaker in ways that he hasn't been before.

So with all of this in mind, one of the things that I note in the policy memo that Anya pointed out is that the really dangerous possibility throughout all of these political transitions is not that we could see faces in Islamabad that will be more difficult to deal with on issues of concern to the United States.

The really dangerous possibility is that you'll see a disruption in the process itself -- a disruption that would be, I think at this point, very unpopular to the Pakistani public if the elections, for instance, were postponed or otherwise marred by violence or any sort of military intervention.

And also the possibility that you could see, especially if there are some problems in the civil-military relationship as the new army chief is selected, some sort of division within the ranks of the military, which remains Pakistan's single most significant dominant national institution, and which really is central to the stability of the country writ large.

Now, fortunately, I would say the elections look to be going relatively smoothly so far, in terms of the process. Pakistan has an election commission which is in charge of maintaining that process and adjudicating disputes over the next month or so until the elections. It has a good and fairly well-respected head of that election commission, who's done a fine job as far as anyone I know can tell, within certain political parameters.

And they -- and that election commission has already come forward and basically chosen a new caretaker prime minister who is reasonably acceptable across the board, has put together new voter rolls and other procedures that are intended to make these upcoming elections more free and fair and acceptable, than even the ones that we saw back in 2008.

So there are some bright points here. There are also some points for concern. And overall, this is, as I said, going to be an exciting, I think very important, political year for Pakistan.

SCHMEMANN: Thank you very much, Dan, for that overview.

Ambassador Crocker, you've held several senior diplomatic positions and you know this region very well. Why does this all matter to the United States? What are the stakes for the United States these upcoming elections? What should the U.S. role be? And more broadly, how can U.S.-Pakistani relations be improved going forward?

RYAN CROCKER: Anya, the stakes, I think, are very high for the United States. Pakistan is a country of 180-plus million people. It of course possesses nuclear weapons. And since my time there as ambassador, 2004 to 2007, I've seen almost all the trend lines running the wrong way. There are more extremist groups in Pakistan than when I was there, and they are targeting the Pakistani state, military and civilian. We've seen the press reports of the ascendancy of the Taliban in Karachi, one of the world's largest cities.

So a stable Pakistan is crucial to a stable region, and that takes us back to the importance of these elections. I think Dan laid out remarkably well how the process unfolds, you know, again, the good news being that the government completed its term, made no effort to extend that extralegally. There is a credible election commission in place and a caretaker government to oversee all of this, because it comes down to one word: institutions. Pakistan is in a state of institutional failure. It's not a failed state, but you could argue it is a failing state.

So these elections need to be, as Dan said, well-run and credible in their outcome. I think we as the United States and more broadly as the international community need to do whatever may be helpful to the success of these elections, and that means (overseeing other ?) efforts on institutions, not, repeat, not on individuals.

From the point of view of U.S. interests, I don't think it matters that much who emerges in first place and who forms the next government as long as the process of getting them there is broadly seen as legitimate.

The other piece of good news -- I am a little less certain on this, but fairly -- I don't think there is much appetite in the Pakistani military to get itself involved in the electoral process, certainly not under current management. So as long as there is not widespread disorder, I would be reasonably confident that the military will keep its distance.

And, you know, in the so far, so good department, yesterday saw massive, massive rallies throughout the country by the various contenders, as many as 150,000 in Lahore for Imran Khan and his party. And while there was a -- sadly, a bombing in the north -- the northwest, the casualties were relatively light. But given the number of people who were out and the threats by the Taliban and others to disrupt the process, that so many rallies were held without incident is an encouraging beginning.

SCHMEMANN: OK, thank you. So much to watch, much to still be concerned about, but a few glimmers of hope.

So on that note, let's just open it up to questions and see what people have to say and ask. So operator, we'll take some questions.

OPERATOR: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, we would like to open the floor for questions. (Gives queuing instructions.)

Our first question will come from Warren Strobel, Reuters.

QUESTIONER: Hi, can you hear me OK?

SCHMEMANN: Go ahead, Warren.

QUESTIONER: Great. Thanks for doing the call. This question is a little bit off topic, has to do more with Pakistan's foreign policy, but it obviously relates to the domestic political scene too. I'm just wondering whether either of you or both of you could talk about how Pakistan is approaching the reconciliation effort in Afghanistan and whether you see that the policy is changing and they're playing a slightly more helpful role than they have in the past.

SCHMEMANN: Dan, you want to take a first crack at that?


Look, there has been a view of late that the Pakistanis are taking a different role. It's even been said that they have had a strategic shift on this point. Pakistanis have made that claim. Some American U.S. officials even have made that claim.

I remain somewhat skeptical. I think that the Pakistanis are themselves deeply concerned about what the political outcome in Afghanistan is likely to be. They're worried about this reconciliation process. They want to sit at the table. They want to influence the process. In this respect, I don't think that their position has changed markedly from years and years ago. Some Pakistanis, in fact, will say that the only thing that's really changed is that the Untied States is pushing the reconciliation agenda and that they have been telling us to do this all along.

Whether or not they're actually going to be constructive, this so far remains to be seen. They have released some prisoners, which some people take as a constructive move, but there are other reports suggesting that those prisoners haven't been much help to the dialogue at all. They've said some positive about the reconciliation agenda, but then they followed those up with other more questionable statements.

The last point I would only make is to really, again, focus on a -- on their uncertainty and their hesitation about this process. It's pretty clear -- and this was clear during my last trip to Pakistan, as I said, a few weeks ago -- that the military in Pakistan -- and I've heard this not through military sources but from other sources -- but they are very eager to figure out what the Americans are actually doing. They don't trust that the U.S. officials are necessarily letting them in on the reconciliation process, and they don't trust the Afghans or even the Afghan Taliban to tell them either. And so they -- their major concern is to be looped into the process.

SCHMEMANN: Ambassador, anything to add?

CROCKER: I think Dan's got it exactly right. It comes down to, again, a single word: trust. And trust is in very short supply, whether it is among Americans, Afghans or Pakistanis.

The Pakistanis will never forget the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which, according to their narrative, they went from being the most allied of U.S. allies through 1989 to the most sanctioned of U.S. adversaries, as we completely withdrew and allowed the Pressler Amendment sanctions to go into effect, stopping all economic and military assistance. Again, according to their narrative, they were left with a horrendous civil war in Afghanistan and had to deal with it on their own. So part of this trust issue is, is the U.S. a reliable ally? The same question we ask ourselves about Pakistan. And both of us have, I think, some valid reasons for posing it. But we do need to find a way to get over it.

My view is, the Pakistanis will hedge their bets on the Taliban unless or until they are convinced both of our intentions, along with those of the Kabul government, and our staying power. We've been trying to signal both; that was one of the aims of our conclusion of the strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan, that runs until 2024, that President Obama signed in Kabul last May, not only a signal to Afghans that the U.S. is here to stay this time, but to Pakistanis.

So I think we just have to keep chipping away at this for both sides to understand that we each have an interest in what the other does and that we need to make that a constructive and a long-term interest. But as we have seen over the past few years, there is nothing easy about this.

SCHMEMANN: OK. Thank you.

QUESTIONER: Great. Thank you very much.

SCHMEMANN: Operator, we'll take the next question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question will come from Judith Miller, Manhattan Institute.

QUESTIONER: Hi, Ryan. Hi, Daniel. I have a question about Musharraf and Musharraf's party, what you think the prospects are, whether or not he gets more ink time here or in Pakistan.

SCHMEMANN: Dan, let's start with you again.

MARKEY: Sure. Yes. Musharraf undoubtedly gets, if not more ink time here, more respect here than he gets in Pakistan these days. He is remembered here as few other Pakistani leaders are. In fact I would hazard to guess that if most Americans were asked to name a Pakistani leader, he might be the -- still the top one who comes to mind. But in Pakistan he is widely seen as washed up, potentially in a hazardous position, because cases have been lodged against and because he has a lot of very dangerous enemies in Pakistan right now.

So I frankly was still a little bit surprised that he did in fact return to Pakistan. I read that the Saudis were assisting that return -- quite possible, although have no proof of it. I hope that somebody is assuring his security, you know, for his sake -- I think it would be disruptive -- otherwise, for Pakistan's stake.

He doesn't have a real political vehicle yet to ride on as a party, and it would take him a matter of years to do that, to build anything, and there's no sign that he has the sense politically, as far as I can tell, to really make that a reality. So I'm not quite sure who's advising him, but I wouldn't expect him to a major player any time soon in Pakistani politics.

SCHMEMANN: Thank you.


CROCKER: Again, I would agree with Dan. Throughout this campaign he is going to be in and out of court. He had bail granted on two murder charges and one other. He'll have to apply for extensions. It is not a great position for an aspiring candidate to be in.

You know, he may win a couple of seats. I think it remains to be seen how some of these electoral alliances work. Zardari and the former speaker of the Parliament under Musharraf, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, have thrown in together, and that is of course Musharraf's PML-Q Party. He may benefit in some way from that association, but it remains to be seen.

I would agree that there is a real question about his safety and security, and I join Dan in hoping that very careful attention is being paid to that.

There's also a postelection issue. The Pakistanis coined the pithy little phrase back in the '70s "two men, one grave."


CROCKER: You or me. And that, of course, applied to the rivalry between Zia ul-Haq and Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto of course wound up in the grave.

Should Nawaz Sharif and his coalition emerge as the leading party postelections and should Nawaz Sharif be chosen as prime minister, since of course he was deposed by a Musharraf-led coup, one would wonder whether he would seek revenge to the courts on capital charges there.

So again, I think, as this process proceeds, all of us who want to see a better future for Pakistan than its past has been need to focus on strengthening institutions and moving this all away from the politics of personality.

QUESTIONER: Thank you.

SCHMEMANN: All right. Thanks. We'll take another question.

Ambassador and Daniel Markey, I would just ask you each to keep your answers short. I'm seeing that we have a lot of people in our queue. So let's take the next question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question will come from Trudy Rubin, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Go ahead.

QUESTIONER: Hi, Dan and Ryan. Thanks for doing this.

Ryan, you talked about the trendlines running down and the rise of fundamentalist groups who want to target the Pakistani state. Do you see any likelihood that the winners of this election are going to improve that situation, especially since Nawaz Sharif has questionable ideas about fundamentalist groups and Khan seems to want to just negotiate with them, and we know where that went when it came to Swat and the tribal areas?

CROCKER: It's a key question, Trudy. You know, Nawaz is, of course, in coalition with a -- with Pir Pagara's -- also PML -- I think that's Pakistan Muslim League (F) -- for functional, which is a -- you know, a fairly moderate grouping.

Yeah, I would like to think that whoever emerges on top, including Nawaz Sharif, is going to take a long, hard look at where Pakistan is and what the options are in taking it into a different direction. I think it's worth noting that, his own conservative tendencies notwithstanding at this juncture, Nawaz is not in alliance with the MMA, JUI or any of the other extremist Islamic groups, including Jamaat e-Islami. So, you know, I would like to think that a successful process is going to deliver a prime minister, whoever it is, that is going to see the imperative of trying to steer the country back to a more centrist position.

MARKEY: Yeah, if I -- this is Dan here -- if I could just make one quick addition to that, it would simply be, the PMLN seems to have at least two faces to it, and the question is whether the business-first face of primarily Punjabi urbanites, which is an important part of the -- their coalition, wins out. And if you look at their platform, it is a business-first platform.

And if they can cue to that, you can imagine a situation where the PMLN actually helps Pakistan grow its way economically out of some of its most acute crises that it faces. But unfortunately, I'm concerned about the other aspect of the party, and also the general instability that the next coalition may face. It may be a very weak coalition which would be unable to take on either difficult economic reforms or law and order issues, and Pakistan will be the worse for it.

SCHMEMANN: OK, thanks. Just for any latecomers who have joined us, this is a on-the-record CFR call about Pakistan with Daniel Markey and Ryan Crocker. And Ambassador -- Operator, excuse me -- we'll take the next question.

Operator: Thank you. Our next question will come from Junaid Ahmed, BBC News.

QUESTIONER: Hi there. I would like to know what U.S. policy in terms of using drones to target Islamists will be in a post-election scenario, where you have someone like Nawaz Sharif potentially becoming a prime minister. His party has not been very favorable to the use of drones, and this issue is also -- (background noise) -- some of the other parties as well.

SCHMEMANN: Dan, you want to try that first? Drone policy.

MARKEY: Sure. Yes, you're absolutely right. Both PMLN and PTI, among others, have said that they would oppose the use of U.S. drones over Pakistani territory if elected.

Look, it's clear the Pakistani parliament has itself publicly addressed the drone issue and said that they oppose the use of drones, and yet, they persist. I think if you get a new prime minister like Nawaz Sharif, you will get a series of negotiations, re-negotiating the terms of a variety of things, including the use of drones, including other counterterror cooperation.

And there will be others at the table, including the Pakistani military and ISI along with the U.S. side. And those negotiations I think may be difficult ones, ones the United States would ideally have preferred to avoid. But they are necessary, and in the end, I think probably some accord will be reached in which the use of drones will probably be curtailed from where they have been over the past couple of years, but they will continue, particularly against high-value targets when they're found.

SCHMEMANN: Ambassador, will drones continue to be an aggravator in the U.S.-Pakistani relationship?

CROCKER: I would hope that -- being a perennial optimist -- that these elections will lead to exactly the kind of strategic negotiation and discussion that Dan describes. You know, I would not expect whoever emerges as prime minister simply taking a position that this is over. There will be those discussions, and I think they're going to be healthy ones that will lead to some understandings on how this whole program is implemented. We can only do this in cooperation with and with the approval of the Pakistani government, the civilian leadership as well as the military.

The increase in drone strikes over the last four years has been exponential. I sometimes am concerned that it is, perhaps inadvertently, becoming a strategy rather than a tactic. It can be a very effective tactic, judiciously used. So I -- it may not be fun all the time, but I would welcome that postelection discussion.

SCHMEMANN: Thank you. We'll take another question.

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Azim Young (ph), KAO TV.

QUESTIONER: Yeah, my question is how these election results really impact on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan via Karachi. And secondly, there's Taliban in Karachi. You know, they are posing a lot of danger because there is a lot of (discussion ?). How do you view whether they will allow elections happening in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan peacefully?

SCHMEMANN: Ambassador, let's turn to you first on Afghanistan.

CROCKER: My sense is that the decisions on the pace of withdrawals going forward will be made in Afghan terms. In other words, it will be based on a joint coalition-Afghan assessment of where the risks are, where our adversaries are strongest, and we'll proceed on that basis. I would not expect the outcome of the Pakistani elections to have much of an impact on that.

That said, the second part of the question is very relevant. The growing strength of the Taliban in its various flavors in different parts of Pakistan is worrisome, I think, to all of us, most especially, I think, to Pakistanis. We'll see what happens, obviously, in Karachi. You know, what we saw yesterday, of course, was a fairly quiet day in the city, as I understand it. And it is, while an area of Taliban ascendancy, you know, other, shall we say, secular parties, like the MQM and the PPP, are going to make that a key electoral contest for their party.

So again, we'll have to wait and see. But I would not write off -- I would worry about Karachi under -- and its Taliban influence, but I would no means consider that the city has now become a Taliban enclave.

MARKEY: Yeah, I -- this is Dan. I'll make just two quick points. One would be I don't think the elections would -- are being factored into U.S. plans for military withdrawal, as Ambassador Crocker pointed out. I do think that the question of how much equipment the United States pulls out through Pakistan and how costly and difficult that is may be a part of any future negotiation with any new government in Islamabad. So in that respect, it will matter. But the withdrawal will continue apace either way, most likely.

And then in terms of violence, it's not just Karachi. I mean, we all saw this story, Declan Walsh's story in The New York Times, but it's very clear that elections -- along the border with Afghanistan, there are are deep concerns among the political parties, Pakistan's political parties there, from the JUIF to the ANP to others, that the violence will be very bad and is certainly affecting their ability to get out and campaign and basically has constrained the ability of the ANP to do much of -- or any of that in their normal traditional way. So the violence is already having an effect. And the hope, though, is that it won't have such a dangerous effect, that people will still come out to the polls. But that would be very discouraging if we start -- started to see signs of that.

SCHMEMANN: OK, thanks. Let's take another question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question will come from Ashish Sen, The Washington Times.

QUESTIONER: Thank you both for doing this. My question is, what effect would a potential leadership transition in Pakistan have on the reconciliation with the Taliban? Do all Pakis share a similar view on their vision for Afghanistan and reconciliation?

SCHMEMANN: Dan, so we've touched on this before, but what are the different party platforms for this?

MARKEY: Right. In general, I would say Pakistanis across the board have a -- have a similar motivation in terms of their reconciliation agenda. There are some specific differences, say, with PTI, and they have been much more inclined to want to cut even more concessions or deals with greater concessions to all strands of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban. But I don't think that affects the reconciliation agenda in Afghanistan so much.

I guess the major point to make, though, is that while it does matter what these political parties say about reconciliation and about the future of Afghanistan, because that will have a consequence for how the broader Pakistani public appreciates the reality in Afghanistan as the U.S. withdraws and so on, it is what the Pakistani military, what the Pakistani intelligence service, what they say and do, what they choose to do, to be helpful or to play different games with respect to reconciliation, that probably matter more in terms of prospects for seeing any kind of dialogue actually bear fruit.

SCHMEMANN: Ambassador, (anything ?) more to add on reconciliation?

CROCKER: Again, I would agree with that. I would just -- I would just note that there is another very important player in the reconciliation process, and that is the Pakistani military and, of course, ISI. You know, I hope we are through this election going to be moving into a different era in Pakistan in which the army is increasingly removed from politics, but this for the Pakistani state is a matter of national security, and their voice will certainly be heard. After all, Mullah Berada (ph) before his death and Mullah Obidullah (ph) today are not in civilian prisons.

SCHMEMANN: Thank you. operator, let's take another question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our next question will come from Shaun Tandon, AFP.

QUESTIONER: Yeah, hi. Thanks for doing this call. A bit of a broad question. I was wondering your assessment about the role of the United States or the perceived role of the United States in the election. Obviously, as you know, political leaders in Pakistan frequently will talk about what they perceive as U.S. interference. Is that -- what are you seeing so far? Do you see that the U.S. could become a factor that people are talking about, that electors or politicians are talking about? Or do you think it's possible that one could steer clear of that?

SCHMEMANN: Ambassador, let's go to you first.

CROCKER: I think that is a -- you know, a very important question; I think both Dan and I touched on it earlier.

This is an election, in my view, as much about Pakistan's institutional future as it is of new parliaments and a new government. And, you know, given our history in Pakistan, we have got to be incredibly careful not to do anything that could even create the impression that we are favoring any candidate over any other candidate.

I'm -- I've noted the statements by our ambassador there that makes precisely this point. Senator -- Secretary Kerry on his recent visit to the region deliberately did not visit Pakistan. And the reason, as I understand it, is so that there could be no suggestion that he was in Pakistan to somehow affect the outcome of the elections. This all has to be about strengthening the institutions of the state and most particularly those who -- those which are involved in the conduct of the elections. I think we do have a role to play in that.

I also hope very much that we will see a significant and distinguished group of international observers from around the world, including the U.S., present for those elections, again, in the best of all possible roles to put the seal of good housekeeping on the outcome. We just have to avoid any vulnerability that we are backing a particular candidate. And there will be enormous pressures and -- to do so from the candidates themselves, I wouldn't doubt, as well as assertions that we are -- that we are or we aren't.

SCHMEMANN: Dan, I know that your recent policy innovation memorandum and your recent congressional testimony suggest also a U.S. approach and that you agree largely with the ambassador's position. But what can the United States do going forward in these next couple weeks and months?

MARKEY: Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, I agree with everything Ambassador Crocker just said. I was -- I was impressed by Secretary Kerry's decision not to go to Pakistan. Had he gone, it might have actually overlapped with the timing of Musharraf's return. It would have been a real disaster. We've had troubles like that before, not necessarily intentionally, but where Pakistanis have perceived some sort of influence. Had they both shown up at about the same time, it would have looked to some Pakistanis as some sort of conspiracy to influence electoral outcomes, which wouldn't have been the intention here in Washington but might have been seen that way there.

We can't just be silent, though . We can't just stand back and watch this process unfold, particularly if the process unfolds in a way that is messy or ugly. And in the memo that I put together, my argument is that largely we want to stay aloof from this process because we do want to support institutions and not personalities. But when those institutions -- if they are violated, if the rules are broken, if it appears that there is undue influence or corruption in the process, the U.S. government should speak out about it but it should do so in a very careful way. It should do so by suggesting that Pakistan really needs to hew to its own constitutional and legal standards; not to impose our standards but to recognize that their constitutional standards on these issues are actually pretty good. And if they follow their own rules, then they will have a reasonable outcome, one that we would be perfectly happy to live with under the circumstances. So, that's the first way we should do it.

We do have some political leverage. If really things do get very ugly, we have assistance programs that can be calibrated quietly. And Pakistan, it should be noticed, is facing a real economic -- a looming economic crisis, for which they're probably going to have to go back to the IMF for another bailout. And so we have some indirect leverage there, as well. I don't mean to overestimate those things or suggest we should jump in and use them here and there, but if the process really starts to look broken, these are the kinds of tools that we would have at our disposal.

SCHMEMANN: OK, well, I thank you, Daniel Markey, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, for your very thoughtful and insightful comments. Unfortunately, we've reached the end of our call. I apologize to any callers who we did not get to with questions. The transcript for this discussion will be on CFR's website. You can also find Daniel Markey's memorandum there on Pakistan's upcoming parliamentary elections. There are a number of other useful resources on CFR's website as well.

And so with that, I thank both our speakers and I thank all the callers. And we will all be watching Pakistan as it approaches these transitions. Thank you all and have a good day.

MR. : Thanks, Anya.

MR. : Great, thank you.

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