Pakistan's Sharif to participate in parliamentary elections

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party decided Sunday to participate in next month's parliamentary elections, and other members of Pakistan's largest opposition coalition will make their own decisions after failing to reach a consensus on the contentious issue, officials said Sunday. Despite earlier threats to boycott, the decision appeared to clear the way for most major parties to participate in the balloting, although last-minute snags remain possible with several opposition leaders claiming the government is preparing to rig the vote. A large boycott would undermine Musharraf's efforts to legitimize the new presidential term he won in October in a vote by a Parliament stacked with his supporters. US Ambassador Anne Patterson has repeatedly urged all opposition parties to take part in the elections.