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March 16, 2009
Pakistan back from the brink after government concessions

On Monday, the government of Pakistan backed down and recognized the “mood of the people,” as an aide to President Asif Ali Zardari put it.

That mood played out, sometimes violently, on Pakistan’s streets over the weekend and forced Zardari’s government to reinstate the country’s former chief justice — a popular, independent jurist who was dismissed two years ago.

The U.S. State Department said today that the decision by Pakistan’s government had brought the country “back from the brink.” Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called President Zardari and the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, who had driven this weekend’s protests.

Shuja Nawaz, a specialist on Pakistan and director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States, joins Martin Savidge to discuss what concessions the Pakistani government has made to end the political crisis, what the unrest could mean for the U.S. and how the showdown impacted Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

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