Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Ex-Prime Minister Bhutto says deal with Musharraf possible, urges him to quit army post

Ex-Prime Minister Bhutto says deal with Musharraf possible, urges him to quit army post

Exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said she may make a political deal with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in the interests of fighting religious extremism.
However, in comments broadcast on Pakistani television Friday, she also renewed her call for the general to quit his army post if he wants to stay on as president.
"Our objective is that democracy should be restored," Bhutto said during a presentation of her autobiography in Dubai. "Extremists should be weakened so that our people can progress."
In a clear message to Musharraf, she said "we want the military to return to barracks," arguing that it was holding up development.
The prospect of a pact between Bhutto and Musharraf has electrified political debate ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections expected later this year.
Bhutto is calling for the dropping of corruption charges that have kept her out of Pakistan since 1999 so she can resume campaigning for her People's Party, the country's largest.
Musharraf needs allies for his plan to ask lawmakers to elect him to a new five-year term as president. Bhutto's socially liberal party is seen as a natural ally for his pledge to promote "enlightened moderation."
However, critics say the Constitution requires Musharraf resign as army chief if he is to continue as president _ a step he has yet to announce.
Bhutto, who first acknowledged talks with Musharraf's envoys in March, cautioned that similar negotiations stretching back several years had proved fruitless.
"This time, there might be a deal, and there might not be a deal," she said.
Bhutto served twice as prime minister in the 1980s and 1990s, but both her governments were dismissed amid accusations of corruption and misrule.


Updated : 2021-10-29 01:19 GMT+08:00