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Pakistan’s imperfect choice

For the party leaders, Pakistan's election is not so much about winning office as about earning forgiveness

By Moni Mohsin   February 2008

Faced by an Islamist insurgency, an economic crisis and growing separatism in the provinces, Pakistan urgently needs a strong government that will stand united in the face of these multiple threats. What is the likelihood of such a government emerging from this election?

On the face of it, depressingly small. There are no saviours in the wings. Since the sacking of an intransigent chief justice and the subsequent crackdown on civil society, President Musharraf and his parliamentary allies, Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), have haemorrhaged support. The assassination in December of Benazir Bhutto, leader of the country’s largest political party, the…

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