If the rise of Imran Khan to the top of Pakistan’s political heap is rooted in popular aspirations for change, analysts are sceptical about any significant evolution in the nation’s internal and external orientation after the elections. While the constraints on the civilian leadership are real, the status quo in Pakistan is increasingly difficult to sustain. It is possible to imagine a course correction at home and abroad if Khan can generate a new domestic consensus on key national issues on the basis of his mass appeal and the trust of the army that so dominates Pakistan’s political life. Any easing of tensions with Afghanistan and India will significantly boost Pakistan’s prospects for economic advancement at home and the elevation of its international standing. It is possible to imagine a course correction at home and abroad if Khan can generate a new domestic consensus on key national issues on the basis of his mass appeal and the trust of the army that so dominates Pakistan’s political life.

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This article was originally published by the Institute of South Asian Studies.