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>Witness To Musharraf’s End

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>THIS afternoon, not long after Pervez Musharraf announced that he’d had his fill after almost nine years of ruling Pakistan, I wandered across Islamabad, to the headquarters of the Pakistan People’s Party. The headquarters, which include a residence and a secretariat, are referred to collectively as the Zardari House, named after Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s widow. The Zardari House has been the nerve center for the push to oust Musharraf over the past year. The last time I was there, on November 9, 2007, police had trapped Bhutto inside her home to prevent the PPP leader from reaching a rally in the neighboring city of Rawalpindi. Bhutto’s supporters had gathered outside, chanting against Musharraf, and yelling: “Long Live Bhutto” and “Prime Minister! Benazir! Prime Minister! Benazir!”
Today, the Zardari House buzzed with excitement once again. In fact, when I arrived, after having been out of the country for the past seven months (I was kicked out in January by Musharraf’s government for writing about the Pakistani Taliban), it seemed like little had changed. The ratio of party workers to journalists remained about the same (1:1), and the chants sounded similar (“Long Live Bhutto” “Prime Minister! Benazir! Prime Minister! Benazir!”).


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