Musharraf visits Britain's PM Gordon Brown on last leg of European tour

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf was meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday, on the last stop of a European tour in which he has defended his democratic credentials and promised that next month's parliamentary elections will be free and fair. Musharraf has taken every opportunity to tell Western leaders that he remains the best hope to ensure stability and fight terrorism in the volatile nuclear-armed nation. Musharraf's critics say his grip on Pakistan is slipping, citing political turmoil, a growing militant insurgency and December's assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf has repeatedly fended off accusations that the elections will be rigged, but pro-democracy campaigners remain convinced the Feb. 18 poll will not be fair.