Washington, Jan 28 : US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's knowledge of Pakistan has been described as "surprisingly poor" even after eight years in the White House and a trip to Pakistan. According to Thomas Houlahan, the director of the Military Assessment Programme at the Centre for Security and Science, Hillary had told Wolf Blitzer of CNN after Benazir Bhutto's assassination, "If President Pervez Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow."
She obviously did not know that the upcoming elections are for the next Parliament and Musharraf has already had himself elected as President for the next five years by the national and provincial legislatures. Hillary did not know that he is not required to run for Parliament. In a later interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Hillary commenting on delay of elections in Pakistan, said, "I think it will be very difficult to have a real election. You know, Nawaz Sharif has said he's not going to compete.
The PPP is in disarray with Benazir's assassination. He (Musharraf) could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election."
"That hit me. Senator Clinton really didn't know that the upcoming elections were for individual seats in Pakistan's Parliament. She actually believed that Benazir, Nawaz and Musharraf would be facing off as individual candidates for leadership of the country in the upcoming elections," Houlahan said.
"Hillary didn't know that Sharif isn't allowed to run for office in Pakistan because of a felony conviction," he added. She didn't know that Musharraf won't be on the ballot because he's already been elected, the Daily Times quoted Houlahan, as saying.