Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) denounced interference by the Pakistan military intelligence in the political campaign charging they are attempting to intimidate her candidates to drop out of the election for a new parliament in January.”This is not your job to indulge in politics,” and noted the recent escape of an important terrorist from police custody as the reason the intelligence agency should be focusing on its main job of combating terrorism. Bhutto also made clear she has ended disagreements with a former political opponent, Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and both will work to defeat President Musharraf and restore democracy to Pakistan. Musharraf countered by claiming Bhutto was making up reasons why her party will lose and intends to blame military interference as a justification for her loss in the election.
The conflict goes on with charges and counter charges from all areas of the Pakistan political spectrum. Blame for the lack of trust must lie with President Musharraf who imposed martial law and got rid of the supreme court that refused to go along with his ideas. If the election ends with a Musharraf victory, there will be mass demonstrations in Pakistan and violence in one way or another.
Pakistan’s political opposition to the rule of General Musharraf is considering boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections since they fear there will be no honest vote. Benazir Bhutto of the Pakistan People’s Party is discussing with her followers the possibility of refusing to take part in what most probably will be a rigged election. She notes that 25,000 ballots are being sent to each constituency which can be used to ensure victory for the Musharraf backed Muslim League. PTI Chief Imran Khan is beginning a hunger strike in protest to the suspension of the Constitution, but the Muttahda Majis-e-Amai(MMA) stated it would be involved in the election because boycotting would only ensure victory for the Muslim League.
Pakistan is confronting an unusual situation since apparently there are efforts on the part of Musharraf to stack the deck for his political supporters. Ordinarily, the Pakistan Supreme Court could halt such activities, but it has been replaced by Musharraf stooges. Chief Justice Abdul Dogar just ruled, “exceptional measures can be taken in exception al circumstances and the doctrine of necessity can also be applied.” In simple Pakistani, this means Musharraf can do anything he damn well pleases. Of course, this creates a dilemma for the Bush administration which backs the Pakistan leader while also claiming America wants democracy to triumph.