Ballots Over Bullets

Democracy, even in diluted form, can shock, undo and turn over the established order, as it did in both Pakistan and Kashmir last week. For President Pervez Musharraf, the election was intended to fulfill his promise to end one man rule—while ensuring he retained his own stranglehold on power. Early returns, however, indicated a fundamentalist coalition, the Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), was the unintended beneficiary of Musharraf's banning of past political powerhouses Benazir Bhutto and Mian Mohammed Nawaz Sharif from standing for office. The startling result calls into question Musharraf's grip on power and his ability to closely support America's war on...

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