Gen. Perez Musharraf’s promise to resign his military post only if he is re-elected president in October drew howls of protest today from Pakistani opposition parties, who threatened a mass resignation in Parliament. “He is blackmailing,” one leader told the AP. “We reject this conditional offer and reaffirm our resolve that we will force him to quit as the president and the army chief.”
At the same time, the US is pressuring Musharraf to strike a deal with Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister who is returning from self-imposed exile in October, just in time for lawmakers to vote on the legitimacy of Musharraf’s reelection. Critics would rather that vote happened in January, the Guardian reports, when the current parliament, elected in flawed 2002 polls, is replaced.