Besieged Musharraf in 'Dangerous Mindset'

Pakistani prez 'sulking' after election defeat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 7:10 AM CST
Pakistan Peoples Party's co-chairman and husband of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, left, shakes hand with Pakistan's Muslim League-N party chief Nawaz Sharif, center, at a press...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Is Pervez Musharraf paranoid, or is everyone out to get him? After his party's hammering in this week's election, the answer seems to be both, the Guardian reports. "He's been sulking," said a senior party official of the Pakistani president. "He's retreated into a mental bunker. It's a dangerous mindset to be in at this point in time. He could decide to hit back."

Victorious opposition parties have closed ranks against Musharraf and are trying to build a majority big enough to force the president from power, but he's vowed to hang on until his five-year term expires. Musharraf's political base has eroded but the under-fire president still has one key ally: the White House is said to be pushing hard for a deal that would keep him around. (Read more Pervez Musharraf stories.)