The Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Senator Joe Biden, has drawn up an excellent long-term plan for the United States to help Pakistan economically, thereby strengthening the state against Islamist extremism. The problem is, however, that Pakistan may not be able to wait that long. He and others have warned that mass anger at rising food prices and lengthening electricity cuts could combine with hostility to the government's campaign against the insurgents and to Pakistan's alliance with America. Pakistan's new president, Asif Zardari of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), is already hated by much of the population, in part because he is seen as too pro-American. Sharif's popularity has soared in recent months, partly due to his opposition to Pakistani help to the Americans in Afghanistan and criticism of the Pakistan Army's campaign against the insurgents. This does not mean that the United States should treat Sharif as an enemy. If he comes to power, he will probably follow a course of pragmatic cooperation with Washington. America should give emergency aid to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the Pakistani military offensives in Bajaur in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Swat in the North West Frontier Province. These should be focused on the North West Frontier Province. The planned $750 million for the tribal areas is a good idea in itself, but given the security situation and lack of basic infrastructure in these areas, it will be many years before this money can be spent effectively. Meanwhile, the North West Frontier Province itself is in grave danger from the militants.