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A police officer stands inside a cordoned-off area after a suicide car bombing in Islamabad, Pakistan.

REUTERS/Waseem Khan

Pakistan vs. (Pakistani) Taliban

Pakistan’s “second war against terror” has effectively begun.

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Pakistan's new army chief Gen. Asim Munir meets with President Arif Alvi in Islamabad.

Press Information Department/Handout via REUTERS

Operation Cleanup: Pakistan’s new general has an old assignment

After months of drama and debate, Pakistan finally has a new army chief, ostensibly the most powerful man in the land. While Gen. Asim Munir inherits a country in the midst of political chaos and economic disaster, he is also confronted by a crisis of confidence in Pakistan’s most powerful and organized institution.

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Imran Khan supporters chant slogans as they condemn the assassination attempt on the former PM in Wazirabad, Pakistan.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

After Imran Khan attack, Pakistan’s fatal political threesome escalates

Pakistan is still reeling after the assassination attempt on ex-PM Imran Khan, the born-again Muslim populist who has been campaigning for snap elections and a return to power since being ousted from office last April. After he survived gunshot wounds on his legs Thursday, a three-way political battle between Khan, the civilian government, and its military backers is now spilling onto the streets.

The flurry of accusations, questions, and investigations in the wake of the shooting doesn’t bode well for political and social stability in the world’s fifth most populous country and the only nuclear-armed Islamic republic.

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Ousted Pakistani PM Imran Khan gestures as he addresses supporters during a rally in Lahore.

REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Pakistan's former PM injured in assassination attempt

On Thursday, former PM Imran Khan was shot and injured in the leg during a rally in Wazirabad, a city in eastern Punjab province. The shooter, identified as Naveed Mohammad Bashir, was interrogated by police. He was reportedly following Khan’s convoy and intended to kill him. "Imran Khan was misleading the people, and I couldn’t take it anymore. My objective was to kill him, and just him," he said. Eight other leaders of Khan's party were also injured. As we wrote about recently, political long marches in Pakistan rarely end well — and this time was no different. Soon after Khan kicked off his march to demand a snap election that he thinks will return him to power, the head of Pakistan's shadowy ISI intelligence services warned in a rare press conference that there could be violence. So, what happens now? It really depends on how soon the ousted former PM recovers from his injuries and whether the military — once again — steps in to restore order. There's no love lost between Khan and the army, but it's the men in uniform who — directly or indirectly — call all the shots in Pakistan. Still, as GZERO's own Waj Khan tweets, the army-backed government has two options now: placate Khan by agreeing to hold an early election or shut it all down if the violence gets out of hand.

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