Benazir Bhutto

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When Benazir Bhutto returned from exile in October, she was disturbed by the growing strength of the Taliban and Islamic extremists inside Pakistan. Last week she sat down with Newsweek-The Post's Lally Weymouth in Islamabad. Excerpts:

Q: How do see your prospects in the upcoming election?

A: We all worried that the elections are going to be rigged in favor of the ruling party -- the military's party, the Muslim League. . . . There are 148 seats in the Punjab, the government has been told to give 108 seats [to] them. That means we'll only be fighting over 40 seats.…  Seguir leyendo »

All through the years of the Soviet empire, its Politburo held "elections." Of course, calling something an election and actually having it be an election are different things.

I am under house arrest in Lahore, barricaded in by Pakistani police with bayonets. Despite Gen. Pervez Musharraf's announcement of a date for parliamentary elections, I doubt that we are in for a change.

I cautioned the general earlier this year that his election as president by the present parliament was illegal. He insisted otherwise.

We agreed to disagree and decided that we both would accept a ruling by the Supreme Court regarding eligibility.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nov. 3, 2007, will be remembered as the blackest day in the history of Pakistan. Let us be perfectly clear: Pakistan is a military dictatorship. Last Saturday, Gen. Pervez Musharraf removed all pretense of a transition to democracy by conducting what was in effect yet another extraconstitutional coup.

In doing so he endangered the viability of Pakistan as an independent state. He presented the country’s democratic forces with a tough decision — acquiesce to the brutality of the dictatorship or take over the streets and show the world where the people of Pakistan really stand.

General Musharraf also presented the democratic world — and especially the countries of the West — with a question.…  Seguir leyendo »

I am returning to Pakistan on Oct. 18 to bring change to my country. Pakistan's future viability, stability and security lie in empowering its people and building political institutions. My goal is to prove that the fundamental battle for the hearts and minds of a generation can be accomplished only under democracy.

The central issue facing Pakistan is moderation vs. extremism. The resolution of this issue will affect the world, particularly South and Central Asia and all Muslim nations. Extremism can flourish only in an environment where basic governmental social responsibility for the welfare of the people is neglected. Political dictatorship and social hopelessness create the desperation that fuels religious extremism.…  Seguir leyendo »