Musharraf may impose martial law

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Washington, Oct 9: Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf could declare martial law if the Supreme Court decides against his re-election on October 17, said Dr. Harlan Ullman, a political analyst and senior adviser to two Washington based think tanks. "If he is (rejected), then I think there is going to be martial law and God knows what's going to happen in Pakistan," Ullman told CTV Newsnet.

"This situation in Pakistan potentially is a crisis, and (Washington) should be focusing far more attention on it. I think when we do, it may be too late," he said.

"We're sitting on top of a powder keg times ten," said Ullman, and believes that the only good option for Musharraf is a power sharing arrangement with Bhutto. But even then it could be difficult.

"With the insurgency, with terror, with discrepancies between rich and poor, the fact that they have nuclear weapons, makes it exceedingly difficult for the most gifted people to work something out in this situation," he said.

Earlier, opposition parties including exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto"s Pakistan People"s Party snubbed the vote.

Bhutto's party abstained from voting, but did not resign from Parliament like some other parties did.

Musharraf dismissed claims that the opposition boycott has undermined the legitimacy of the elections.

"Democracy means majority, whether there is opposition or no opposition," Musharraf told reporters.

"A majority -- a vast majority -- have voted for me and therefore that result is the result," he added.


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