Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fair election not possible

by G Parthasarathy from The Daily Pioneer (India)

Mr Musharraf will count on the Americans declaring that though not "perfect", the election was "fair". Saudi Arabia has also entered the political scene to ensure that the Americans can hedge their bets. The Saudis, who are traditionally revered in Pakistan, earned the wrath of Pakistanis at large when they unabashedly collaborated with Mr Musharraf to have Mr Sharif exiled to Saudi Arabia when he returned to Pakistan. Shortly after the British announced that Mr Sharif should be allowed to participate in the poll, the Saudis insisted that he should enjoy a level playing field with Ms Bhutto in the election. King Abdullah made an aircraft available for Mr Sharif to return and bullet proof cars for him to travel within Pakistan for electioneering. The Saudi Ambassador is the only individual granted permission to meet sacked Chief Justice Chaudhry. Thus, should Mr Sharif do unexpectedly well in the coming election, the Saudis can always ensure he plays ball in the "war on terrorism".

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