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Gen. Musharraf Brings “Essence of Democracy” to Pakistan

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With a ruling from Pakistan’s newly installed Supreme Court, General Pervez Musharraf is one step closer to securing his recent reelection as Pakistan’s president, which has been called into question as he continues to boldly make unpopular decisions.

The court dismissed five of the six petitions that questioned the validity of his election to another term. The last petition is expected to be thrown out later this week.

The Supreme Court decision comes amid calls from outside and inside the nation for Gen. Musharraf to resign from his political office and to rescind martial law.

Gen. Musharraf believes his resigning from the presidency would “lead the country to chaos.”

Also, he has stated that martial law will continue to be necessary to ensure that the country’s nuclear weapons do not fall into enemy hands and to allow for successful parliamentary elections in January.

Last week, Gen. Musharraf swore in an interim caretaker government, declaring, “I have actually introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan, whether anyone believes it or not.”

Just after the proclamation, U. S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte arrived in Pakistan, continuing Washington’s calls for Gen. Musharraf to resign as army chief. Mr. Negroponte bluntly stated that martial law should be lifted.

Benazir Bhutto, leader of the opposition party, stated, “I can’t see how I can team up with somebody who raises hopes and dashes them…He talked to me about a roadmap to democracy and imposed martial law.” She has also decried the new caretaker government as nothing but an extension of Gen. Musharraf’s current ruling party.

Mr. Negroponte also came to Pakistan in hopes of fostering further dialogue between Ms. Bhutto and the Pakistani president.

However, Ms. Bhutto has said that her party will no longer meet with Gen. Musharraf because her party does not believe he “can give [Pakistan] a smooth transition to democracy.”

Pakistan’s president has called off further talks due to Ms. Bhutto’s “confrontational approach.”


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