October 3, 2023

IntelBrief: Pakistan Focuses on Domestic Turmoil and Avoids Geopolitical Conflict

AP Photo/Arshad Butt

Bottom Line Up Front

  • Pakistan’s military-backed political establishment is at odds with a population that largely desires democratically elected civilian rule.
  • The country’s ever-present terrorist threat is likely to intensify in the run-up to national elections, which were postponed to January 2024.
  • The difficulties facing Pakistan’s leaders could both aggravate and be aggravated by regional and geopolitical dynamics, particularly those concerning India, China, and the United States.
  • Pakistan’s leaders are resisting becoming drawn into the U.S. competition with China, which has historically backed Pakistan against Islamabad’s main adversary, India.