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‘All the King’s men, gone!’

Islamabad, February 19
“Democracy takes revenge” this brief headline in a Pakistani newspaper on February 19 summed up the result of the general election in which the opposition PPP and PML-N have emerged as key players.

With the PML-Q, derisively referred to as the “King’s party” for backing President Pervez Musharraf, heading towards the exit, the Daily Times carried a banner headline that read: “All the King’s men, gone!”

“President Pervez Musharraf’s political allies, the PML-Q, appear to have lost their grip over the country’s parliament, with the Pakistan People’s Party (of slain leader Benazir Bhutto) and the PML-N (of former Premier Nawaz Sharif) overtaking the ‘bicycle’ in the election race,” the Daily Times wrote. The bicycle was the PML-Q’s election symbol.

The News, another leading English daily, summed up the stunning results as: “Democracy takes revenge”. It was an apparent reference to a remark made by Bhutto’s son Bilawal, who was named the PPP Chairman after her death.

As official and unofficial results were tabulated, it emerged that PPP and PPP had gained the most.

A front-page comment in The News titled “The Writing on the Wall” said: “All the collaborators and their henchmen, barring a few in urban protected political pockets, have been wiped out in a historic sweep of the nation against Musharraf and his obstinate rule.

Some other stories in the newspaper were headlined thus: “Nation Votes for Change”, “How the mighty fell”, “A Referendum against Musharraf” and “Silent Revolution, Sweet Revenge”.

“Simply remarkable! The power of vote has outshone the powers-that-be. A silent revolution of the silent majority has struck Pakistan and the otherwise voiceless people have said a big but decisive ‘No’,” said a report in ‘The News’. — PTI




Mush supporter loses, flees country
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

President Musharraf’s most outspoken supporter and former information minister Sheikh Rashid left Pakistan on Monday for Spain after a crushing defeat on two seats in Rawalpindi that he had won in the past five elections.

Rashid had declared that it would be his last election. After the defeat he decided to leave for abroad.

The outspoken leader had earlier booked a flight to Dubai from Islamabad but when the story leaked to the media, he cancelled it. Later, he quietly took a flight to Karachi and then sneaked out of the country, when he was unable to face the humiliation. Authorities had posted rangers around the Lal Haveli in Rawalpindi to protect it from the wrath of Pindiites, a fried said.

Another ardent Musharraf supporter, former minister Dr Sher Afgan was defeated by an independent candidate Amir Rokri. Rokri contested as Independent after the PML-Q declined him the ticket. Rokri is a nephew of PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. He stay in the race despite being declined the PML-Q ticket.

All but 18 renegades, who deserted Pakistan People’ s Party after being elected on its ticket in 2002 , have been defeated in the current polls.




Interview with Jemima spelt doom for Mush?

Islamabad, February 19
Could President Pervez Musharraf’s ‘political’ career be coming to a close? According to an editorial in the Daily Times: He has done irreparable damage to his political career and image through his interview with Jemima Khan. Khan was doing the interview on behalf of the English daily The Independent.

The interview mainly focussed on his strategies, which revealed mistakes committed by him. It also called on the people of Pakistan to search for an alternative to him should a new democratic government emerge after the elections.

The main theme of the interview was that all main political parties of Pakistan are corrupt and should not be given any mileage, according to the editorial.

Musharraf’s revelation that he had to introduce the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) under pressure from the Western powers also exposes the regime, as everyone was aware that the ordinance was being heard in the Supreme Court. — ANI



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