February 22, 2008


Pak army gave instructions for fair poll: Report (PTI, February 22, 2008)

The Pakistan Army had issued clear instructions to police and local government officials across the country to not interfere in February 18 polls, a media report said in Islamabad on Friday.

The local administrations, especially the nazims or mayors, were told by the "relevant centres of power" that the polls had to be "very free and fair" and "no nonsense was to be tolerated", a key decision which turned the balloting into a free and fair exercise, it said.

The instructions issued by the military authorities were a follow-up to the announcement made by the army before the election that it would not be responsible for the quality of polls.

The President was certainly right about General Musharraff.

Islamic stronghold in Pakistan goes secular: Residents in the northwest signaled their frustration with Islamic parties' poor governance. (Mark Sappenfield, 2/22/08, The Christian Science Monitor)

The religious parties that held 46 of the 96 provincial parliamentary seats won only nine this time. Moreover, they have been replaced by the secular Awami National Party (ANP).

It is an important development in the province nearest Pakistan's tribal areas, known to host Al Qaeda and the Taliban and the new focus of US antiterror policy. The ANP is expected to marshal all the province's resources – police, politics, and the law – against extremism, whereas the mullahs had refused even to condemn suicide attacks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2008 8:01 AM
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