February 28, 2005

THE GENERAL PLAYS CATCH UP:

Pakistan ex-PM heads to U.S. for talks (Anwar Iqbal, 2/25/05, UPI)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is coming to the United States next week amid reports of new political arrangements in Pakistan.

Sources at her Pakistan People's Party told United Press International Bhutto hopes to meet senior U.S. officials in Washington on the eventual restoration of democracy to her country. [...]

Earlier this month, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher also urged Musharraf to quit the army but said Washington regarded democracy in Pakistan as "more than the (dispute over Musharraf's) uniform" and that it wanted the next elections, scheduled for 2007, to be held in accordance with "international standards" and with "full participation" of all political parties.

On Thursday, Musharraf told reporters in Pakistan his government was negotiating with Bhutto on the future political set-up in the country.

"We need to discourage extremist elements by working with moderate political parties, including (Bhutto's) PPP, especially to have some agreement beyond 2007," he said.

Don't want to be the last Islamic nation to liberalize...

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

Is she bringing her husband, Mr. 10%?

Posted by: Sandy P at February 28, 2005 10:49 AM

Pakistan's prior experiments with democracy have been dreary at best. Parties represent various ethnic and religious interests, which should not surprise anyone when it comes to a nation that isn't a nation but merely an acronym. Brand names like Bhutto or professional operators like Shahaf thrive in a system, stealing everything that isn't nailed down until the army decides to set things right.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the army has more nuts and crooks than the political class. Turkey it ain't.

Maybe Musharraf can change things for the better.

Posted by: Bart at February 28, 2005 1:28 PM
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