Bhutto says time running out for Pakistan deal

Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has warned the country's embattled military ruler that time is running out for them to make a deal, reports said on Wednesday.

Bhutto says time running out for Pakistan deal
Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has warned the country's embattled military ruler that time is running out for them to make a deal, reports said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Bhutto -- who ruled Pakistan twice between 1988 and 1996 -- said military President Pervez Musharraf had as yet made no gestures suggesting he was willing to act on her key demands.

Musharraf is trying to win support from the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) that Bhutto leads in order to get through the worst crisis since he seized power in a coup in 1999.

Bhutto, currently living in exile, suggested she wants the military ruler to lift a ban on her returning to Pakistan and drop the corruption charges against her.

"One thing is certain, that time is running out for General Musharraf's side to reach some kind of an accommodation with the opposition," she told VOA.

"And unless they can come up with up-front gestures, I think it is going to be very difficult, given that nothing has happened since the process began."

Bhutto again declined to confirm a reported meeting with Musharraf in Abu Dhabi last month, where they reportedly discussed making a deal.

She has repeatedly asked Musharraf to give up his military post, saying that his uniform "blurs the distinction" between military and civilian rule.

"The uniform is not negotiable," Bhutto said.

"It is something that is not constitutionally permissible, and it is not negotiable because the whole country is against it, and PPP has spent its whole life fighting to make a distinction between democratic government and military government," she said.

Bhutto said if Musharraf tried to seek re-election before the general elections, due early next year, PPP might resign from parliament or boycott the polls.

Musharraf has said he will get himself re-elected by the sitting assemblies for another five-year term and decide on giving up his post as head of the military at an "appropriate" time.

AFP
Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2007, 13:39
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