Pakistan’s military ruler and key US ally Pervez Musharraf swept most of the votes in Saturday’s presidential election which was boycotted by the opposition. Eight years after seizing power in a coup General Musharraf might have won the votes but his victory is not yet complete. He has to wait until the Supreme Court confirms the legality of his re-election bid given that he is still the army chief.
If his election is confirmed General Musharraf has promised to shed his military uniform, transition to civilian rule, and in a US brokered deal, share power with the exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. But General Musharraf and his policies have generated a maelstrom of opposition from a broad spectrum of the Pakistani population. Tariq Ali was in Pakistan this summer and joins me now in the firehouse studio in New York.
- Tariq Ali. Acclaimed British-Pakistani historian, novelist, political campaigner, and commentator. He is one of the editors of the New Left Review and the author of a dozen books on South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Islamic history, empire, and resistance. His story of the 1979 coup in Pakistan was published last year and the stage adaptation opens next week in New York. It’s called “The Leopard and the Fox: A Pakistani Tragedy.”