Monday, February 18, 2008


Ok, I've been driving around Islamabad, Rawalpindi and part of the countryside here. The atmosphere is great. Supporters of all various parties are, very peacefully, casting their votes. All available space in Pakistan (except for the sky) has been plastered by posters and baners. Wow, the Pakistanis are seriously passionate about politics! And again - wow. Because in how many other Islamic countries would all these different parties be allowed to participate in elections?

Ok, from what I've seen - no violence what so ever. On the streets you mostly see supporters of the the PPP (Bhutto) and PML-N (Nawaz Sharif). Hardly any supporters of PML-Q (Musharraf's party).

But inside the polling stations, I've spoken to quite a lot of people who still voted for Musharraf's party. Especially women. Reason? "Musharraf is fighting against the taliban," a women told me. Another said: "Musharraf promoted education for girl, we can not forget that."

But one, male, supporter of Musharraf was pretty gloomy. "It is a tradition here in Pakistan that whenever a new leader comes they celebrate," he said, "And when he goes, they celebrate too."

In the meantime, cars with PPP supporters drive left, right and center on the roads. Flags, banners, slogans. This is their day. "Not just our day," one PPP supporter says, "For us this is D-Day."

Latest news: Through the whole country (160 million people) 80 million Pakistani's are allowed to vote. A total of ten people have died in various incidents. My friend Zia, who is joining me today, says: "My god, only ten dead? That is really nothing!".

Later here on harryzzz more pictures and a couple of videos. Unfortunately I'm having some difficulties getting my computer to accept video data. Whatever. Keep on checking this blog today and tomorrow.

Harald Doornbos

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