Divided opposition good news for Pak govt

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Islamabad, Dec 11 (UNI) As the main opposition stands divided in view of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's decision to contest general elections in the country, the Pakistan government is hoping that it would dampen the most vocal opponents of President Pervez Musharraf.

Three most prominent pro-judiciary voices in the opposition -- Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Imran Khan -- stand isolated, the News quoted government sources as saying.

Even the Pakistan Muslim League-Q was ''disturbed'' over its leader's (Nawaz Sharif) volte face on contesting elections.

The meeting of the biggest Opposition grouping -- All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) -- on Sunday further divided the opposition with Mr Sharif sticking to his decision to run for parliamentary elections while MMA's Qazi Hussain Ahmad and PTI's Imran Khan denying to desist from boycotting the polls.

Although the PML-N had assured that it will contest the polls on the one-point manifesto -- seeking restoration of the deposed judges -- the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Tehrik-e-Insaaf believed that the best way to get the Judiciary restored was to boycott the polls.

The sources admitted that the raging protests for the restoration of pre-November 3 status of the judiciary will recieve a serious setback by these developments as the government was worried over the growing demand for the reinstatement of the deposed judges.

PML-N leaders argued that there was no choice for the party but to take part in the elections after the Benazir Bhutto-led PPP and Maulana Fazlur Rehman's JUI-F had already decided to contest the polls. They insist that those pressing for boycott had hardly any stakes compared to the PML-N.

With the opposition badly bruised, the most serious threat now challenging the regime is the lawyers community. Government law officials admit that the superior judiciary in Pakistan had never been boycotted by the lawyers the way it was being boycotted in the post-November 3 situation.

UNI

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