By Haider Ali Hussein Mullick
The Washington Post
While most Americans are closely watching their state primaries, Pakistanis are getting ready to vote in a parliamentary election on Monday. On the ballot are Pakistan’s stability, President Pervez Musharraf’s political fate, and the future of the U.S-Pakistan strategic relationship. An environment of rising domestic terrorism, economic uncertainty, and political polarization has made Pakistan a top national security priority for all leading American presidential candidates. The question of the day is, Who will win?
Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam (JUI) party leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman casts his vote at a polling station in Dera Ismael Khan February 18, 2008. Fears of violence overshadowed Pakistan’s general election on Monday with 80,000 troops backing up police to watch over a vote that could return a parliament set on driving President Pervez Musharraf from office.
REUTERS/Mustansar Baloch (PAKISTAN)
But don’t expect a blowout victory on Monday. Indeed, a national consensus government looks increasingly likely – and that may just be what Pakistan needs. Here is why: