Islamabad, Nov 17: Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has criticised former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto despite recent efforts by the two to form an alliance, and dismissed her hopes of coming to power in elections. He said Bhutto in fact feared the polls, set for January, because her party was unpopular and she would lose. Musharraf said she was "the darling of the West" but that "she would not like to go into an election because her party is not in a state to win at all."
"Therefore, I will certainly go for the election, in spite of any agitation by her. We will not allow her that," Musharraf told to the media. Musharraf is due to meet US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte on Saturday to discuss the deepening political crisis.
Negroponte arrived in Pakistan on Friday and spoke on the telephone to Bhutto, telling her that "moderate forces" should work together to get Pakistan back to democracy.
Washington had been hoping for Bhutto and Musharraf to work together to give his government more support in its fight against pro-Taliban extremists. But Bhutto again appeared to rule this out.
"I can't see how I can team up with somebody who raises hopes and dashes them... He talked to me about a roadmap to democracy and imposed martial law," she said.