What is behind Musharraf's Smile? Or Chor gaya, daku aaya
If the results are any indication, he has delivered on Free, Fair and Transparent Elections.
In the weeks and years to come political scientists and historians will compare this election with the 1970 elections under disgraced General Yahya Khan.
Yesterday I wrote in Pakistan Elections: The Number to Watch 185
Any combination of parties that together achieve this magical number and Musharraf is out.
The "any" should be taken with this caveat: there are certain combinations that don't mesh. PPP + PML + Independents would work. But count out MQM and PML (F) out of this permutation.
In the next day or two we will find out the total combined seats for PML (N) and PPPP. As of this moment they have 38 and 31 seats respectively for a total of 69.
Here is where the IF game comes into play.
Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are unlikely allies. Both the parties have been vindictive against each other and the cases of corruption and abuse of power are still pending before the courts.
Only an hatred of Musharraf can unify them.
And even then they will need the blessings of Mai-Baap. The U.S. interest in mercenary soldiers to fight their proxy wars is paramount. While PPPP shows a propensity to do that, PML (N) is officially opposed to it.
The work of the new leaders is cut out.
Placate U.S. interests, raise the prices of petrol, which they will inherit from the caretakers, look after the flour crisis, the electricity and water crises.
The honeymoon for them will be over sooner than they can imagine.
In the quotable quip of Ardeshir Cowasjee, "Chor gaya, daku aaya." the more things change the more they remain the same. Brace yourselves for more of the worse.
Musharraf is smiling. He will decide his fate.