Political and constitutional crisis in Pakistan not over: Guardian

November 14th, 2007 - 1:52 am ICT by admin  
“It (presidential elections) has prolonged it, as Pakistan enters a period of limbo, which will only end when the Supreme Court rules on his (Musharraf) eligibility to stand in the first place. This could take from 10 days to three weeks, and in that time anything could happen,” the paper’s editorial said.

Commenting on the number of votes that Musharraf got, the paper, however, said he had won no more than 55 per cent of the vote.

“Opposition parties said the vote was illegitimate, but they too have been damaged politically. The general has largely defanged them, either by cracking down on them (as he did when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempted to return to the country) or by buying them off. Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and leader of the largest opposition party, is hard put to describe the immunity from prosecution that she and her followers secured as a process of political reconciliation,” the report said.

Talking about the National Reconciliation Ordinance, the paper said that it too would be tested before the Supreme Court.

“Benazir can return to Pakistan, but she has failed so far to secure the other two items on her agenda - to overturn a ban on anyone serving as Prime Minister three times and to strip the president of the right to sack his prime minister,” it added.

Pakistan has courts, lawyers, laws and a burgeoning media. And, for the first time, in its 60-year history, every undemocratic manoeuvre has been magnified through the television camera, The Dawn reported.

“What viewers need is not the unsavoury spectacle of an army chief buying out the political class, but leaders prepared to maintain the rule of law. The transition from military dictatorship to the civilian government will not happen without it,” the paper said. (ANI)

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