The EU has told Pakistan that their future involvement together will hinge on the fairness of Pakistan's elections next month. Elections are set for Feb. 18 following the December assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
As Pakistan's biggest economic partner, the EU and its mandate prompted Musharraf to state in Brussels, "We must have fair and transparent elections on February 18. Whoever wins, obviously power will be handed over to them. We are going to be returning to free, fair and transparent elections, and peaceful elections."
Musharraf's trip, the first abroad since Bhutto's assassination, is thought to be a public-relations mission aimed at shoring up his flagging popularity and credibility after months of violence and unrest in Pakistan. Not just the matter of fair elections, the EU is also especially interested in maintaining the stability of a nuclear-armed Pakistan.