Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 and national elections in February 2008, Pakistan struggled to distance itself from the discredited military regime of President (General) Pervez Musharraf. Competition between the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), once led by Benazir Bhutto and subsequently by her widower Asif Ali Zardari, and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif, however, threatened to thwart the cause of political stability in Pakistan.

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