Western diplomat says postponing Jan 8 polls would polarise Pak further

January 2nd, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, Jan 2 (ANI): Pakistan will be polarised further if the general elections scheduled for January 8 is postponed, a Western diplomat has said.
He further said the government has put itself at risk because people would see the delay of elections for what it really was.
The problems of burned electoral offices in Sindh were easy to remedy in a nation with over 100 electoral offices, the New York Times (NYT) quoted the diplomat, as saying.
The government has also extended the detention of Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of the opposition lawyers movement for another month, his son, Ali Ahsan, said.
The election date is expected to be announced formally on Wednesday, and President Pervez Musharraf is scheduled to address the nation.
The timing of the elections and how the news of the delay is received could be critical to Pakistans stability. The two main opposition parties have threatened continuous protests against the government if there is a delay.
Pakistan Muslim League (Q) has acknowledged that elections should not be delayed for more than six weeks.
“Six weeks is just about the outer limit before the frustration really hurts Musharraf,” said a member of the party that has Musharrafs support.
Pakistans opposition party members and Western diplomats have said the decision to push holding of the election to February is largely intended to deprive the PPP and the PML-N the advantage of gaining politically from a sympathy vote after Bhuttos assassination.
The PPP and the PML-Q have made it clear that they are ready to vote on January 8.
The PML-Q will try to recoup some of its plummeting popularity. (ANI)

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