News of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation is being received with caution both domestically and internationally.
One of the main parties in Pakistan's governing coalition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was deposed by the 1999 military coup that brought Musharraf to power.
Thousands of people are fleeing northwestern Pakistan's Swat Valley as battles between the army and Taliban militants and other insurgents continue to rage. At least 95 militants, Pakistani soldiers, Taliban, and civilians have been killed in the past five days of fighting.
President George W. Bush is talking to Pakistan's civilian leaders, but the US presidential administration continues to exhibit a stubborn preference for maintaining close ties with the Pakistani military, an institution that is widely discredited inside the South Asian state.
Tens of thousands of protesting Pakistani lawyers and their supporters are marching toward the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in what's been dubbed a "Long March" to demand the reinstatement of the country's chief justice and 60 other judges who were sacked last year by President Pervez Musharraf, who they want to resign.
After a two month lull in the violence that has plagued Pakistan's border regions, Islamist militants appear to have resumed the violence when a recent suicide-bomb attack in the northwestern city of Bannu killed five.
Pakistan's new government is close to signing a peace accord with pro-Taliban militants as part of a softer counterterrorism policy from Islamabad that deemphasizes military strikes and calls for U.S. forces to show more restraint in the area.