Pakistan Arrests Before the Ballots

Zia brings back democracy, but not much of it

Almost from the moment he seized power in a military coup in 1977, Pakistan's President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq has been assuring his countrymen that he wanted nothing so much as to call free elections and restore his country to a democratic system. He finally got around to staging a referendum last December in which Pakistani voters were invited to say whether they endorsed Zia's program of Islamization and in effect whether they wanted him to continue as President. About 98% of those who voted said they did.

This week the country holds its first elections for the National Assembly since 1977....

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