What happened
Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto said while under house arrest that she would never share power with President Pervez Musharraf, who responded by saying that Bhutto was worsening the situation by “producing negative vibes.” (The New York Times, free registration)

What the commentators said
Musharraf has promised elections in January, said Bhutto in The Washington Post (free registration), but the vote will be “a farce” unless he restores the constitution and steps down. You can’t have democracy in “a police state.”

Gen. Musharraf has “shot himself in the foot” by alienating Bhutto, said The New York Times in an editorial (free registration). Washington was banking on the power-sharing agreement between the two leaders struck before Bhutto’s recent return from exile “would be the key to Pakistan’s transition back to democracy.”

Please, said Fatima Bhutto, the former prime minister’s niece, in the Los Angeles Times (free registration). The “twice disgraced” former leader was perfectly willing to share power with a dictator until Musharraf declared martial law and handed her an opportunity to pretend she’s the “savior of democracy.”

Now Bhutto is considering forming an alliance with another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, said Ed Morrissey in his Captain’s Quarters blog, and that’s a “bad sign.” Sharif represents allies of the Taliban. Looks like “chaos may be just around the corner.”