Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is busily offering olive branches, and even pledging to resign his military post in the near future, during the final hours before Saturday’s presidential election. It looks like his strategy may work, as the election is expected to result in victory for Musharraf, even as his legitimacy as a candidate is being contested and reviewed by the nation’s top court.
The New York Times:
Separately, The Associated Press reported that General Musharraf [Friday] signed into law an accord that includes amnesty for the opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, clearing the way for her to return to Pakistan for parliamentary elections at the end of the year. The amnesty was one of Ms. Bhutto’s central demands in talks with representatives of General Musharraf over a power-sharing pact.
The 10-judge panel of the Supreme Court gave the unanimous decision while hearing the petitions challenging the eligibility of General Musharraf to run in the presidential election and challenging the acceptance of his nomination papers by the election commission.
“The election process already commenced shall continue as per the schedule notified by the election commission,” Justice Javed Iqbal, the presiding judge, said, adding that the Supreme Court would resume the hearing of the petitions against President Musharraf’s eligibility on Oct. 17.