Musharraf will go for installment-based emergency for at least a year: Benazir

November 14th, 2007 - 8:29 am ICT by admin  
“He (Musharraf) will not say so (revoke emergency) immediately. It will be done in instalments. I believe this position has been taken to suspend the Constitution for at least one year, if not two,” Bhutto said in an interview to NBC News from her home, Bilawal House, in Karachi, a day after emergency was imposed by the General.

She said that, according to her sources in the regime, there is going to be a piecemeal approach, where people would be told this is a temporary measure for three to six months, and then it will be extended for another six months.

Bhutto feels that hard-liners within the Musharraf regime, who are pro-Taliban and al Qaeda, want this to be continued till they destabilise the Hamid Karzai regime in Afghanistan.

“There are many hardliners which served with an earlier military dictator of the 80’s, who formed the Afghan muhjahideen who went on to become al Qaeda and the Taliban. These hard-liners believe that America will be caught up in the presidential elections for a year. And then a new administration in the US will take another year to settle down. And they feel they need two years to drive NATO out of Afghanistan, destabilise (Afghan President) Karzai, and set up a kind of puppet government there, as well to expand their influence in Pakistan,” Bhutto said.

“These are the reports I’m getting from inside the regime,” she added.

This is contradictory to the General’s justification for imposing emergency in the country, since he had said that increased suicide attacks by Islamic radicals and interference by the judiciary in the administrative works led him to take such an action.

On being asked about what she desires from the US, Benazir said that she would like President George Bush to telephone General Musharraf and tell the latter that it’s not possible for Washington to support the suspension of Pakistan’s Constitution or the sacking of the judges.

“I would like the United States to tell General Musharraf - please, accept the verdict of the people, hold elections, restore the Constitution,” she added.

She said that her party, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), would hold protests against the imposition of the emergency.

“Whether it’s a public meeting, whether it’s a sit-in, there will be protests, because it’s very difficult to keep quiet in the face of the suspension of the Constitution of Pakistan, which amounts to a military rule,” the Daily Times quoted her, as saying.

“We would like to see the restoration of the Constitution, and I would like to urge General Musharraf to restore the Constitution, to accept the verdict of the court, even if it’s a verdict that he does not like,” she added. (ANI)

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