Nawaz Sharif, ex-prime minister of Pakistan is now free to return and contest elections in Pakistan. He is a direct opponent to President Musharraf, and his supporters are the Islamists in JI and IJT who form the base of the Taliban, and their only slightly less agressive political wing. He is the candidate that the MMA is likely to back as well.
Under Nawaz Sharif Pakistan became a nuclear power, and the black market in nuclear components with North Korea and Iran started. Under Sharif, the Taliban were trained by the Pakistan ISI, supplied, fed, and armed by the government.
Under Nawaz, the repressive, inhumane laws based on Islamic Hadith put in place by Zia ul Haq continued. These called for stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, and imprisonment or death for offending a muslim over religion. (These laws were the basis of the protests against Salman Rushdie, the mohammed cartoons, and other things.) Under Nawaz the Ahmadi sect was declared non-Muslim and persecuted. Although Ahmadis from other countries practice the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, the Pakistani Ahmadis cannot because they are not allowed to state they are muslim in their passports.
Lastly, until the coup created by Musharraf, Nawaz was well on his way to becoming dictator for life in Pakistan by changing the constitution in ways that made it impossible for him to be removed as Prime Minister. (In Pakistan except in times of crisis and war, the Prime Minister holds most power within the country – the President in times of peace becomes a figurehead, carrying out only foreign policy)
If Nawaz wins in the election we would likely see a distancing from the US, more opposition to Israel, the Hamid Gul faction back in charge of the Taliban, and increased fighting against India. The nuclear policies of Pakistan would also likely change, and who knows who they would start selling technology to?
Here’s a quote from Hamid Gul after 9/11:
“Mossad and its accomplices [are the 9/11 culprits]. The U.S. spends $40 billion a year on its 11 intelligence agencies. That’s $400 billion in 10 years. Yet the Bush Administration says it was taken by surprise. I don’t believe it. Within 10 minutes of the second twin tower being hit in the World Trade Center CNN said Osama bin Laden had done it. That was a planned piece of disinformation by the real perpetrators.” (UPI United Press International, Sep. 26, 2001)
Yes, that’s right, Hamid Gul was the original “9/11 Truther” and people who are spouting that bull in America are actually following an Agit-prop campaign run the the head of an Islamist nation’s secret intelligence agency. The same folks who created the Taliban inspired the truthers.
UPDATE: You will find the comments section at Metroblogging Islamad very educational on this matter, as you will see the varying points of view within Pakistan on the matter.