NEW YORK: - Stating that President Pervez Musharraf is still trying to work out arrangements with "Zardari's party", a former senior State Department official with expertise in South Asia says that the new Pakistan government faces instability as four major political actors involved do not trust each other. "The first two (political actors), (Asif Ali) Zardari and (Nawaz) Sharif, would like to govern by themselves instead of with each other. Musharraf would like to have his own power back," Teresita Schaffer, who now runs  the South Asia Programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview. The fourth in the equation identified by Ms. Schaffer is the Pakistan Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani. "It is a pretty good definition of instability when you have a government composed of people who don't trust each other and would prefer not to have to work together, and when you have an army that wants not to have to make a choice among different leaders, that would prefer to take a holiday from politics, but that has an institutional history of intervening in politics," she said while talking to the consulting editor of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank. "That's not what the army wants to do, but of course every officer in the army knows that it has happened at various times in the past," the expert added. As regards President Musharraf's contacts with the Pakistan's People's Party, she said they were so far not successful, "but there's been enough going on that it's been one of the factors that has kept the coalition unstable." QUESTION: From over here it seems rather bizarre that this whole government apparatus seems caught up in the question of who should be a judge. I mean, that seems to be the issue, yes? ANSWER: That is the issue. And it is the issue because it was the crisis of the judiciary that led to the protest movement, which culminated in the elections. Without the judge issue, without Musharraf having tried to fire the chief justice, and having ultimately fired him during the emergency, the elections would have looked very different from what they actually did look like. And one of the points on which the coalition was supposed to have agreed was that they would in fact bring back the judges who were sacked. Unfortunately, they didn't agree on all of the details, and Mr. Zardari has some anxieties about bringing back the old judges. Q: And his anxieties are what? That they would say he can't run for office because he was in jail for corruption? A: That they might reactivate the corruption charges against him, which had been cancelled by the national reconciliation order at the time his wife, Benazir Bhutto, returned to Pakistan. Q: And Sharif wants the judges reinstated, but doesn't have the power to do it by himself? A: There are disputes over what is necessary, legally, in order to reinstate them. There's one view that says this can be done by executive order, because their removal was illegal. There's another view that says the parliament can pass ordinary legislation that makes it happen. There's a third view that says this requires constitutional action, in which case they don't have the votes in the upper house of parliament. But all these technical problems could probably be resolved if the parties were really agreed on what exactly was supposed to happen. Q: What are the chances for the Pakistan military to once again try to take power? A: I don't think that's what they want to do at the moment. If General Kiyani had his druthers, he would be taking a holiday from politics, for the time being. I know that the Pakistan army does not want to be put in a position where it's picking and choosing which government authorities it will support. But, you know, this has happened before in Pakistan's history. I certainly hope it won't happen again. On other issues, Ms. Schaffer said  the United States and Afghanistan are particularly concerned about the Taliban crossing back and forth across the Pakistan border -- Pakistan is more concerned with stopping internal terrorism caused by suicide bombings and the seizure of territory within the country by insurgents.                       DISCONNECT? Askked whether there was a disconnect between Pakistan and the United States, she said, "In a sense the overall objectives match, but the priorities don't." Although the United States has been critical recently of Pakistan's efforts to stop the Taliban from crossing back and forth into Afghanistan, she said that it was not much better when the army reported directly to President Pervez Musharraf.