Musharraf cares about America: Nawaz


Electioneering in his home province of Punjab on Wednesday, Nawaz Sharif derided his old foe President Pervez Musharraf as a lackey of the United States.
“He does not care about Pakistan, he cares about America,” Sharif told a rally of about 5,000 people in Chakwal district.
The United States had supported the more pro-Western Benazir Bhutto’s return, while ignoring Sharif.
In the past, Sharif used his position in the middle ground to cultivate appeal among religious conservatives and has not spoken out as strongly as Benazir against militants.
Benazir’s martyrdom created a wave of sympathy that is expected to help her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) emerge as the largest party in the National Assembly after the vote.
It is not a presidential election, but the outcome could be vital to Musharraf’s future.
“He has drowned the country in blood,” he said.
Sharif later addressed another gathering at Kahuta.
It is expected to make gains at the expense of a pro-Musharraf party, but it cannot win.
The best Sharif can hope for is to ally with other parties to bring Musharraf down, or leastly build a platform to attack his nemesis from opposition.
Sharif cannot be sure what the PPP will do if it is in a position to form an alliance with Musharraf’s political friends, but the two parties agitate in tandem if they both feel cheated by vote rigging.

Copyright Reuters, 2008

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