05
Dec
07

Boycott option is still open – Pakistan Opposition Parties

Pakistan’s major opposition parties joined forces on Tuesday in drawing up a list of demands for President Pervez Musharraf to meet if he wants to avoid a threatened boycott of next month’s elections. As conditions for their participation in parliamentary elections, the parties are preparing to demand the end of emergency rule and the release of former Supreme Court judges.

The move raises the stakes for Musharraf’s government as part of efforts that Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister, likened to a war to “save Pakistan from further destruction.”

Representatives of Sharif’s faction and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s party – normally political foes but drawn together by a common goal of fighting Musharraf – drew up the list of demands and set a deadline for compliance. This week’s talks between Sharif and Bhutto are their first since they both returned from exile.

Sharif told supporters in Abbottabad that their main demand will be that “all the actions in declaring emergency rule should be withdrawn.”

President Musharraf has promised to lift the emergency Dec. 16, about three weeks ahead of the elections.

[Read more here]

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