The lovely and talented Pervez Musharraf.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said he would not allow two former premiers who are also his main political rivals to return to Pakistan to take part in upcoming elections, according to a report Friday.
The announcement seems likely to deepen Pakistan’s political crisis, in which the military leader faces accusations of authoritarianism as well as a growing challenge from Islamic extremists.
Musharraf was asked during an interview with the private Aaj television channel about the aspirations of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to return from exile to lead their parties in parliamentary elections, due at the end of the year.
“No, they will not be returning before elections,” Musharraf said in an excerpt shown before the screening of the full interview later Friday.
Musharraf has said he will ask lawmakers in the outgoing parliament to elect him to another five-year term as president. He has also resisted calls to give up his post as army chief.