Bhutto issues ultimatum to Musharraf

November 14th, 2007 - 10:14 am ICT by admin  
Repeating her plans for a rally on Friday, despite an official ban, she also called for a “Long March” next week unless General Musharraf changed course.

“I appeal to the people of Pakistan to come forward. We are under attack,” she told journalists.

Musharraf imposed emergency rule on Saturday after months of unrest. The authorities have warned that police will not allow Friday’s demonstration in Rawalpindi to go ahead.

Rawalpindi Mayor Javed Akhlas said: “We will ensure that they don’t violate the ban on rallies, and if they do it, the government will take action according to the law.”

He was quoted by the BBC as saying that Bhutto could face another suicide bomb attack, and therefore, strictures could be imposed on her movement.

Bhutto said if it was impossible to hold the rally in Rawalpindi it could be held in Lahore.

She said that the “Long March” would start on November 13 from Lahore and move in the direction of Islamabad, if her key demands were not met.

The demands are: for the state of emergency to be called off; for General Musharraf to stand down as head of the army; and for elections to be held by mid-January.

Bhutto said that for the peaceful transition of powers, President Musharraf would have to restore the Constitution.

She also told reporters after an ARD meeting here that was demanding the release of all those political workers and lawyers who were detained after the imposition of emergency.

The government played dishonestly, now it is time for the storm that has been brewing up to rage on the national scene, she remarked.

“The Constitution should be restored and the Election Commission should announce the schedule for the next general elections,” she said, adding that a new Election Commission should be formed.

Benazir Bhutto said that no meeting with President Pervez Musharraf is scheduled to take place.

“It is due to dictatorship in the country that extremism is on the rise and we want democracy through transparent and free elections,” she said.

Benazir Bhutto said if the government does not adopt a peaceful way, then the people will come out.

She stressed that the struggle should be made above all political parties’ interests. She urged her supporters to attend the rally that would be held on November 9 in Rawalpindi.

She demanded the foreign forensic experts to be called in to conduct a probe into the October 18 Karachi tragedy and the annulment of condition regarding becoming premier for the third time.

“The ARD condemns the curbs on the media and demands the termination of all sorts of censorship on media, as the information is a right well-deserved by the people,” she added.

Pakistani police tear-gassed supporters of Benazir Bhutto, minutes after she called for mass demonstrations against a state of emergency.

At least 200 activists from Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party chanted “No martial law!” as they tried to get to the parliament building.

Police baton-charged the demonstrators and fired tear gas shells. At least three party workers were arrested and bundled into waiting police vans.

On this occasion, seven policemen were injured while entering into clash with PPP workers. Police arrested six PPP workers, including a female activist, while they were protesting on Jinnah Avenue. (ANI)

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