Interview with Evgeny Khrushchev
Benazir Bhutto's release from house arrest comes as an interim Prime Minister is about to be sworn in until elections next year.
The country's president, General Pervez Musharraf says the appointment of Mohammedmian Soomro marks a transition to democracy.
Musharraf also expects to quit as army chief by the end of the month.
“The best case scenario is that Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte [arriving to Islamabad later on Friday] will push hard to salvage the 'behind the scenes' deal between Musharraf and Bhutto. Problem is that Bhutto is playing her own very fine balancing act. If she drops her charges and comes back to the deal, her democratic credit will be effectively lost,” Khruschev assured.
Musharraf imposed emergency rule ahead of a Supreme Court decision on whether his re-election was valid while he remained head of the military. He said it was to fight Islamist militants who he called a “threat facing the nation”.
“Ironically the next day after declaring the emergency, Musharraf released 25 Muslim militants in exchange for 225 Pakistani soldiers. They had surrendered without firing a single shot. Despite the U.S. billions invested in the fight against terrorism, the Pakistani army is incapable of fighting Muslim militants. It has been penetrated ideologically by fundamentalists inside the country,” Khruschev added.