Translating the “latest on the elections”:http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=10872 into plainer english:
bq. President General Pervez Musharraf has decided that the intelligence agencies will not be allowed to interfere in the election process in the next general elections and orders have been issued to all the agencies in this respect, highly placed sources told The News. “#”:http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=10872
The postal system in Pakistan is very bad, so most of the agencies will probably not even get this memo. We have so many agencies in Pakistan that half the memo’s intended for agencies get intercepted by another competing agency, and the ones which get though are discarded as they could be forgeries from the spy vs spy game. So the agencies roam the land unchecked like dinosaurs of old. The key difference, of course, is that the dinosaurs are extinct and know it, while Pakistani intelligence agencies are only extinct in the brains department while their headless bodies rampage around the country. Like the dinosaurs, it will take the equivalent of a speeding comet from outer space to complete their extinction process.
If Musharraf had decided this eight years ago, it would have happened, but these orders are too late in the game. Someone somewhere is using these orders to light his cuban cigar as he ticks off Musharraf from the list of powers that be in the land.
bq. The decision to keep the agencies away from the polls has been taken as a demonstration of the intent to hold free and transparent elections.
At some point, intents fall by the wayside and actions are needed. What will the agencies do, if not politics?
bq. The president has asked the intelligence agencies not to establish contact with any candidate or any political leader for any purpose other than stipulated in their charter of professional duties. They have been asked to concentrate on security-related matters and law and order situation.
The charter of professional duties probably includes rigging the elections in the name of _National Security_ so this statement is particularly useless. The intelligence agencies along with the CIA created much of the law and order situation by setting up Islamic training camps and madrassa’s around the country, and like their big brother the American CIA now seem to have lost their list of their old trainees.
bq. The presidential camp is keen to guarantee credible and transparent elections* that should not be subsequently questioned* for their fairness. They would *go to any extent* […].
Hello, big brother Musharraf! Someone high up in an intelligence agency must have come up with this gem. The “any extent” sounds particularly chilling…
bq.. The government has also decided to facilitate international observers for the monitoring of polls and the world media would be given permission for the coverage of electioneering in Pakistan.
The security agencies would provide such teams with protection to carry out their respective tasks.
p. The security agencies are the wrong people. They can just coordinate with the “election rigging” department as they bring these observers around. A gesture of faith would be giving these observers money to hire their own security people, instead of assigning the same old intelligence agencies rigging every election in Pakistan to control the movements of international observers. Now that Blackwater is being kicked out of Iraq, they would be happy to come down to Pakistan.