This is a real test. Domestically, [the escalation of violence with India] is the first crisis of his administration. I feel that he is passing the test right now....the ball is in (India Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's court. Khan says Pakistan is done—it would take further action from India to re-escalate (violence).
Pakistan’s main extremist challenge in 2019 and beyond is no longer a violent insurgency waged by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, as it was a few years ago. Indeed, Pakistan’s new extremists are hardliners who do not (yet) engage in mass-casualty terrorist attacks, but in massive, disruptive protests over the issue of blasphemy. Over the last few years, they have been emboldened by the state’s lack of enforcement against them and the failure to publicly provide a credible counter-narrative.The fight against these extremists, more than any other, will define whether Pakistan changes course for the better.
"[Yet the PTI has the political capital to make a stand. It enjoys widespread support, credibility among Islamists, and unprecedented backing from the country’s most powerful institution, the army.] This was the time to push back."
Certain traits of [Imran Khan]—his lack of desire to conduct politics as usual, his stubbornness—will mean that should his relationship with the military sour or cool off, he might falter more quickly than politicians in the past, and more badly. But once in power, he could also adapt.
No one, other than Sharif loyalists, doubts that [he] was corrupt...The question is whether he would be facing this had he appeased the military rather than taken it on, and the answer is probably not.
The fact that [Lashkar-e-Taiba], under a charitable and political front, is able to conduct operations freely in the heart of Punjab lends credibility to the idea that at least important elements within Pakistan’s security forces do support and back the group.