ISLAMABAD (AFP) - President-elect Asif Ali Zardari is unlikely to have the country's powerful military breathing down his neck as did his slain wife during two stormy stints in power, analysts said. Zardari was overwhelmingly elected Saturday in a secret ballot of lawmakers, capping a remarkable rise from jail, exile and his wife Benazir Bhutto's assassination just nine months ago. The military that has ruled Pakistan for around half its 61-year existence, most recently under former general Pervez Musharraf, remains a potent force. But analysts said Zardari's civilian rule would not be impeded as long as he did not interfere or challenge military doctrine. "The army has decided to coexist with the present political realities and leadership," Talat Masood, a retired general and military analyst, told AFP. "They realise any meddling in politics will be very much misunderstood and will not be helpful to their own institution and interest in the country." The military was involved in terminating both Bhutto governments, in 1990 and 1996. As president, Zardari will head up the National Command Authority, which safeguards the country's nuclear weapons. However, the reality is that the armed forces will have firm control of the atomic arsenal. "The military will still be in charge of the nuclear asset," Masood said. The feeling within military circles has become more pragmatic in the wake of the controversies and often chaotic circumstances that accompanied Musharraf's final years in power, which included several months under emergency rule. The ex-president seized power as army chief in a bloodless coup in 1999. His downfall is widely acknowledged to have started in March 2007 when he sacked the country's chief justice, fearing that he would create hurdles in his bid for re-election later that year. Musharraf's initial reluctance months later to confront extremists holed up in Islamabad's Red Mosque - and its eventual storming which saw scores killed - also earned him disrepute. Zardari will now have to grapple with the militant threat that has seen nearly 1,200 people die in bombings and suicide attacks across Pakistan since the July 2007 siege. As president, Zardari has the right to appoint heads of the military, cementing an already strong position as co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which won elections in February. But with no immediate moves to impeach Musharraf, the threat that led to his August 18 resignation, the military will give the new president the backing he needs to rule without hindrance, said Hasan Askari, a political analyst. "So far, Zardari has maintained cordial relations with the military top command and taken care of their sensitivities," said Askari, a former head of the political sciences department at the University of Punjab. "The army will show acceptance and see how things play out with Zardari as supreme commander of the armed forces. They have given him political space and are likely to stay within their professional domain." A vital factor in ensuring detente will be Zardari's continuing support of military operations in tribal areas. "The army needs political support for the war on terrorism and would expect the president to ensure that the civilian government backs its aims," Askari said. While Zardari's recent rise to power has been smooth the pressures of office will put him under strain in coming months, said Riffat Hussain, head of Peace and Conflict Studies at Islamabad University. "The army realises it has been too visible in politics for too long, and that it is time for them to reverse it," Hussain said. "But there will be people who look on the army as the final arbitrator in decision making. The relationship will be severely tested by the internal and external security threats that Pakistan is facing."