Pakistan update

Sorry I’ve been out of town for the last week so there hasn’t been much blogging. I’ll be catching up on a few topics over the next few days, but if you’re looking for some reading material in the meantime, have a look at Terry Friel’s piece in New Matilda on the Pakistani election to be held on 11 May.

I mentioned Pakistan the other week in the context of the fortunes of General Musharraf, its former dictator. Friel dismisses (rightly, I think) Musharraf’s chances of making an electoral impact and draws our attention back to the contenders in a three-way tussle for power: front-runner Nawaz Sharif of the Muslim League, the Pakistan People’s Party of incumbent president Ali Zardarwi (widower of Benazir Bhutto), and the “cleanskin” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by former test cricketer Imran Khan.

It’s an extremely good survey, not assuming much background knowledge but not over-simplifying either. I fail to understand why we can’t get more of this sort of thing in the mainstream media.

Meanwhile, Musharraf’s prospects of staying out of jail until election day are not looking particularly good. The BBC reports that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has “rejected pleas advanced by his lawyers that the proceedings should be delayed until after elections,” and proceedings in the treason case against him are to resume next Monday.

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