Pakistan’s embattled President Pervez Musharraf will seek re-election on October 6. The date for the vote was announced by the Election Commission amid mounting tension in the country where the president looks increasingly isolated. From his attempts to sack the chief justice to his alliance with Washington and its war on terrorism, he has seen his popularity slump.
General Musharraf, who came to power in a coup eight years ago, has said he will retire from the army if elected. But there is strong opposition to his bid for another term. Hard-line Islamic critics were incensed when he ordered the army to storm the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad. Over 100 people died. Bomb and suicide attacks have followed.
Today an Islamist Web site said it would carry a new video from Osama bin Laden in which he declares war on President Musharraf and the Pakistani army.