World News Brief, Tuesday May 14

Nawaz Sharif looks set to lead Pakistan; US and South Korea conduct joint naval exercise, provoke North Korea; Chinese authorities investigate corruption charges against top economic planning official; Taliban to release Turkish hostages; Cameron and Obama to meet; and more

Top of the Agenda: Sharif on Course for Pakistan Victory

Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League appear set to secure a majority in Pakistan's parliament and form the next government (BBC) after his victory in Saturday's election. He has reportedly opened talks with independents to ensure a majority. Sharif's main opponent, Imran Khan, says his party will investigate charges of vote-rigging.


"[T]hose who heeded the call to vote for Pakistan were casting ballots in favor of democracy itself. Rising above political, ethnic, linguistic and sectarian differences, many--especially the young, the urban, the middle-class, the first-timers--were voting for the continuity of civilian rule in a country plagued by military dictatorships, and for a chance to renegotiate the elite political bargain in a way to make the public genuine stakeholders," writes Huma Yusuf for Dawn.

"Sharif is no stranger to Washington, and by all accounts, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader knows how to hold a grudge. The years of generous U.S. support to the Musharraf regime that sent him packing are bound to rankle. Time, along with a changed administration in the White House, may have started to heal that wound, but Sharif would return to power with little trust or affection for the United States," writes CFR's Daniel Markey.

"Mr Sharif was deposed in a coup in 1999, having earlier been swept to power in an emphatic (though partly rigged) election swing. After fourteen years away, how he manages his relationship with the army will be crucial for Pakistan's stability. Few expect an outright confrontation, but if Mr. Sharif loses his moral authority--he was the subject of widespread and convincing allegations of corruption during previous rule--the army (or courts) may quickly feel empowered against him," says the Economist.



U.S., South Korea Conduct Naval Exercise

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (Stripes) headed into the Sea of Japan to participate in a joint two-day naval exercise with the South Korean navy, which North Korea called, "a grave military provocation to unleash a nuclear war."

CHINA: Chinese authorities launched an investigation into corruption charges (AP) against the vice-chairman of the country's economic planning agency, Liu Tienan, made by a prominent journalist. The probe is seen as a target of the new leadership's anti-graft drive.

President Obama and South Korean President Park should even more closely coordinate efforts to change the North Korean leadership's calculus, writes CFR's Scott A. Snyder.


Taliban to release Turkish hostages

Cameron and Obama to meet

 This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on