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This week, the Pakistani government is set to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections. The outgoing administration made more progress toward institutionalizing democracy than many expected. Even so, the army is not ready to go quietly and is crafting its own plans for the country's future.
Renewed efforts to work with Pakistan's people and politicians -- through professional exchanges, training programs, and increased trade -- will eventually bear fruit, stabilizing the country and empowering civilians to exert control over security and foreign policy.
Policymakers have converged on economic development as a key to ending terrorism, in the belief that poorer people are more susceptible to the appeals of violent groups. In fact, in Pakistan, the poor are less supportive of militant groups than the middle class.
This is a fascinating collection of case studies of instances in which regular forces have found themselves trying to cope with armed groups that have occupied holy places, mainly mosques (in Iraq, Islamabad, Kashmir, Mecca, and Thailand) but also one church (in Bethlehem) and a temple (in Amritsar, India).