« Air America Host Blames Blackwater for Fires |
Blog Home Page
| Immigration reform: Not with a bang »
October 27, 2007
Former Prime Minister Sharif to Return to Pakistan
As if the electoral situation in Pakistan wasn't complicated enough, the India Express is reporting (via The Moderate Voice) that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who fled the country in exchange for charges of corruption, being dropped is set to try again to return to Pakistan:
Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudia Arabia barely four hours after he returned to Pakistan on September 10. The former premier, who signed an agreement to go into exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years in exchange for the dropping of his jail terms, had come back after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that he was free to return. This really throws a monkey wrench into Musharraf's negotiations with Bhutto. Sharif is a wild card and has proven to be a slippery politician in the past. His impact at the polls will not be as important as whether or not he is willing to accept a subordinate position in a Musharraf-Bhutto alliance. If he insists on being included in the power sharing arrangement, it might upset the entire negotiating process and cause unforseen consequences for Musharraf.
A bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is currently hearing a contempt of court petition challenging Sharif’s deportation. Musharraf is keen that Sharif should not return to Pakistan before the general election as this may upset negotiations between him and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to reach a possible power-sharing arrangement, political observers said.
In the past few weeks, Sharif has repeatedly said he intends to return to Pakistan ahead of the polls to lead his party in its campaign.
This is why Musharraf wanted Sharif out of the way until after the election. But if the Supreme Court rules in Sharif's favor, there may not be much he can do.