President Musharraf arranged for the return of Benzair Bhutto as well as that of Nawaz Sharif with the understanding both would be allowed to participate in the political arena despite the fact both had been convicted of prior crimes against the state. Sharif is leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and placed his name in nomination to run for a seat in parliament but the court which was appointed by President Musharaff turned down the request on grounds he had a prior conviction. This has aroused the fury of both the PML-N and the governing Pakistan People’s Party which regard the court decision as invalid.
Pakistan can ill afford a constitutional crisis at this moment in its existence. Hopefully, calm voices will find a way for Nawaz to engage in politics without the need for street demonstrations and threats. It is time for Musharraf to display leadership by urging the courts to change their decision.