Benazir warns Musharraf to lift emergency or face protests

November 14th, 2007 - 8:37 am ICT by admin  
“The people of Pakistan are against the imposition of emergency in the country and want free and fair elections. President Musharraf should fulfill his promise and announce free and fair elections after lifting the emergency,” she told reporters at Zardari House.

She said the PPP was ready to talk to other political parties for a joint course of action against the emergency.

“I personally talked to Ishaq Dar and asked him to contact Nawaz Sharif in this regard. We are also ready to take the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and other smaller parties along, provided they denounce the emergency,” she added.

Bhutto said she had not contacted Musharraf after October 19, adding that reports to the contrary were “misinformation”.

She said her party would boycott Wednesday’s session of the National Assembly and would stage a sit-in protest in front of Parliament to press the Musharraf regime to lift the emergency and announce general elections.

Bhutto also rejected Musharraf’s criticism of the judiciary in his address to the nation.

She appreciated the international community’s concern over the emergency, and said that while she agreed with the government that terrorism was at its height in Pakistan, she did not support the administration’s method of tackling the issue.

Bhutto arrived here by PIA flight PK-308 from Karachi on Tuesday, the Daily Times reported.

The flight was boarded on time and the last passenger to enter was Bhutto. She smiled and told reporters that she was extremely excited to return to Islamabad.

Bhutto said that she was not going to Islamabad to meet Musharraf, but to chair an important meeting of the ARD.

Commenting on the ARD, Bhutto said that this is the time for all political parties to get together. These next few weeks are very critical, and we all need political support and we can’t leave it to the bar associations alone.

“We have called upon Musharaf to immediately announce the date of elections and also to retire as Chief of Army Staff, because these were his commitments. If these steps are not taken to defuse the situation, I am afraid things can get bad,” she said.

“Well I feel overwhelmed … I know that the extremists and the militants didn’t even want me to reach my home in Bilawal House, but it is all due to the prayers of the poor people that I am here,” Bhutto said while commenting on her return to Islamabad.

“I was looking forward to this visit to Islamabad as I come at a very difficult time for my country, a time when we have had the suspension of the Constitution, there is a great deal of uncertainty which has affected out markets, economy, the stock exchange,” Bhutto added. (ANI)

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