WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE GOVERNMENT? It must decide whether to fight the court decision and try to keep Gilani in office or nominate another candidate for prime minister. With the PPP-led coalition's majority in parliament, it may be able to replace Gilani and stay in office until elections that must be held by early next year. Resisting the court could trigger a constitutional crisis.
REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE US AND THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN? The government's attention has been focused for months on dealing with this developing political crisis, so it has not had the time or political will to tackle weighty issues such as Taliban reconciliation. As it fights for its political future, the PPP is also unlikely to want to take the unpopular position of re-opening supply lines to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.