The number of problems facing Pakistan and its leadership are – even under normal circumstances – daunting: 177 million people, 60 per cent of them living on less than $2-a-day, with child labour a common sight.
Add to that a leadership challenged by the domestic Taliban, frequent drone attacks by the Americans, floods and other natural catastrophes and a powerful military and intelligence establishment that is guarding its power.
Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, stands at the centre of it all. Now the country’s Supreme Court is demanding that he push for a corruption case against Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, or else be charged with contempt.
The contempt accusation arises from Gilani and his advisors ignoring court orders to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.
There are fears that the case, which has raised tensions between Pakistan’s civilian leaders and the court and which could eventually see Gilani jailed, could drag on and risk paralysing the government.
This week, Talk to Al Jazeera sits down with Gilani to discuss, among other things, the Supreme Court’s demands, Pakistan’s relationship with the US and neighbouring Afghanistan and the balance of power between the country’s civilian government and its military.