Pak scribes feel rigging in January polls will not be on a large scale

November 27th, 2007 - 8:39 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, Nov 27 (ANI): Visiting Pakistani journalists today said that it won’t be possible for the Musharraf regime to rig the January 8 general elections on a scale as they were rigged in the past.
“It won’t be as rigged as it used to be previously because it’s totally a different situation. You have seen that Benazir has returned, Nawaz also returned, Musharraf is there and a strong media, continuing protests against the emergency, campaigns taken out by lawyers….there are a several things,” said Tina Mahgul, a visiting Pakistani journalist.
Many sections in Pakistan have expressed apprehensions of holding free and fair elections under the emergency rule imposed by President Musharraf in November.
However, the media professionals say that with a fairly large number of television news channels having come up since the past elections, some sort of transparency is expected in the elections, although manipulations cannot be totally ruled out.
Echoing the same view another Pakistani journalist, Mehmal Sarfarz, said, “In 1997 there was only one state sponsored channel PTV. Today we have 35 news channels, including GEO, ARY, and when the news channels are monitoring elections live, we cannot rig them.”
It seems that the main contenders for the Prime Minister’s post would be Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party’s supremo Benazir Bhutto, who have recently returned to Pakistan to contest the elections.
Benazir and Sharif have already filed their nominations papers. (ANI)

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