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Key Economic Data 
 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
GDP
Millions of US $ 96,100 82,300 73,300 44
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 600 520 480 160
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 017 - (27/06/07)

Musharraf's external front: victory looming
Signs that Pakistan might be winning its Afghan war have been multiplying in recent months. He seems to have succeeded in convincing the Bush Administration that his policies work in their interest too. In turn the Bush Administration seems to have succeeded in silencing its allies, critical of its approach towards Pakistan. The leading pro-Musharraf figure in the Administration seems today to be vice-president Cheney. The looming conflict with Iran is adding to the value of Pakistan as a strategic ally of the United States and there are already insistent rumours circulating concerning Pakistani help to US covert action in Iran. Both in the US and in Britain influential figures such as former ministers and former diplomats are openly arguing that Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan must be accommodated in order to secure its cooperation in forcing the Taliban to a negotiating table and to a compromise which does not sound like a defeat for Washington. Some of them are even arguing that India's influence in Afghanistan should be reduced as part of such an effort to have Pakistan on board, while many are saying now that Kabul should be 'convinced' to recognise the controversial Durand line which marks the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although the Pakistani ruling elite is likely to expect more in exchange for a political deal and the end of the insurgency, these are clearly signs that the political environment is moving in the direction pointed by Musharraf.

Musharraf's internal front: undecided still
Things are not going that well for Musharraf back home, however. The cracks in the establishment are a major new development, with the judicial system for the first time aligned with the opposition to military rule. It seems that much of the civilian bureaucracy is also opposed to Musharraf, who has been steadily marginalising it. Civil society groups and most political parties were already against Musharraf before the recent upheaval. Price increases and electricity shortages contributed to erode the support for the government among the population. Interestingly, the media have become very vocal against the military, perhaps emboldened by the fact that a full military crackdown on the press is no longer possible due to the spread of satellite TV. Musharraf's attempt to impose curbs on the media resulted in a backlash and PM Shaukat Aziz decided to withdraw it after days of protests by media workers. Will this alignment of forces be sufficient to bring Musharraf down, or at least to force him to a compromise? Among the pro-Musharraf politicians, many are beginning to put pressure on the General-President to opt for a compromise. Quite a few of them seem to be convinced that Musharraf is doomed and that what remains to be decided is only how he will go. They do not seem to regret this possibility too much, as complaints about Musharraf's failure to involve the Pakistani Muslim League in decision-making are often heard. One of the them, Musharraf's former PM Zafarullah Khan Jamali, went as far as quitting the ruling party in protest. The problem is that the position of the political opposition and in particular that of the PPP has hardened after 15 of their activists were killed in the Karachi riots. In any case, for the moment being at least, the Army seems to remain solidly behind him, as does the business community which is thankful to him for bringing better economic management and creating conditions more propitious to foreign investment. US and British support is still behind Musharraf, although they are desperately seeking to convince Musharraf to take steps which would at least partially re-legitimise him. One such step, as advised by the Bush Administration, would be to seek re-election from the parliament after the elections and not before, as he was planning to do. Musharraf signalled that he might take a step in this direction, although not very explicitly. The game is still open.

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