Musharraf says PML-Q will win majority

February 17th, 2008 - 11:16 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has predicted that the party backed by him - the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) - and its allies will win majority in Monday’s polls. In an interview with cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan’s former wife Jemima Khan for the Independent daily published from London, the president said the PML-Q and its allies will win the polls but was not sure if they will be able to form the government.

He, however, said that his role in the next government will be fatherly and he will guide the government in governance.

Excerpts from the interview were published Sunday while a complete report will appear Monday, when Pakistan votes to elect national and provincial assemblies.

The PML-Q was formed by Musharraf after he overthrew prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in October 1999.

Musharraf’s hope that the party will win the polls contradicts all the recent opinion polls, which have shown that the popularity of his favoured party is right down, at just 12 percent.

But Musharraf has repeatedly dismissed the opinion polls, saying they are biased, conducted by organisations that are against him. “They have been abusing me right from the beginning and you will never get good results from them,” the Independent quoted him as saying.

In the interviewed conducted Friday, Musharraf also said that corruption charges against assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Zardari, who now heads her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), should not have been dropped.

“But then, Benazir has good contacts abroad in your country, who thought she was the future of the country,” he tells Jemima Khan in the interview while justifying National Reconciliation Ordinance that bailed out Bhutto and many others.

Talking about the deposed chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, who is still under house arrest, Musharraf denounced him as “the scum of the earth - a third-rate man - a corrupt man”.

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