Editor's Note: Former prime minister Bhutto was assassinated Dec. 27 as she was leaving a political rally. Bhutto sat down with Newsweek's Lally Weymouth for an interview on Dec. 12.

Two Months in Pakistan

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By Lally Weymouth
Monday, December 17, 2007

When Benazir Bhutto returned from exile in October, she was disturbed by the growing strength of the Taliban and Islamic extremists inside Pakistan. Last week she sat down with Newsweek-The Post's Lally Weymouth in Islamabad. Excerpts:

Q: How do see your prospects in the upcoming election?

A: We all worried that the elections are going to be rigged in favor of the ruling party -- the military's party, the Muslim League. . . . There are 148 seats in the Punjab, the government has been told to give 108 seats [to] them. That means we'll only be fighting over 40 seats.

So [President Pervez] Musharraf's party will win the Punjab?

They won't win it. Hopefully we will make him lose it.

Do you think that's possible?

Well, observers are coming from the European Union [among others]. So I think if we can get observers to ensure that the ballots don't get siphoned off, it'll be a huge setback to their rigging plans. . . . They've [also] got ghost voting stations.

What does that mean?

They don't exist, or if they exist, nobody knows where they're placed. . . . We want the observers to go to the improvised polling stations and force the election commission to identify them.

The election commission is another issue, isn't it?

The chief election commissioner -- it's very difficult to get him to move. Mostly he justifies what happens . . . . For example, our candidate in Baluchistan was kidnapped and not allowed to file his nomination papers.


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