Pakistan Election Still Unclear Say Musharraf Opponents

The political opponents of President Musharraf in Pakistan are still debating their course of action — participate in the January election or institute a boycott in protest against the unconstitutional actions by the president. Nawaz Sharif, who recently returned from exile to lead his party, said he had worked out any differences with Benazir Bhutto who heads the Pakistan People’s Party over what to do about participating in the election. He termed the election a “fraud” and charged Musharraf with having “murdered the judiciary” by his dismissal of the Supreme Court. Benazir Bhutto told representatives of Arab and other countries that she was holding open the option of boycotting the election. She told the American representative that creating a democratic Pakistan was the only way to fight “the plague of terrorism.” Bhutto intends to coordinate her electoral actions with her former enemy, Sharif.

The European Union is still undecided as to whether or not it will send observers to the Pakistan election. There is still a great deal of confusion regarding which parties will actually participate in an election that most objective observers regard as tainted by the actions of Musharraf to dismiss a Supreme Court and to impose a state of emergency.