US forced Musharraf regime to allow Benazir return: Pak minister

November 14th, 2007 - 3:05 am ICT by admin  
According to Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan, the US promoted Benazir as a moderate influence in a country facing a growing threat from extremists, which paved the way for her return.

In an interview to the USA Today, Khan said the decision to let the PPP chairwoman return from eight years of self-imposed exile was foisted on Pakistan.

“America has this notion they are the best judge,” he said, adding, “They might as well hold the (Pakistan’s) election in Washington.”

The Nation quoted him as saying that Washington was enticed by Benazir’s assurances that she would let US troops hunt al-Qaeda and other extremists in Pakistan, and allow the United Nations inspectors to question nuclear scientist Dr A Q Khan.

Benazir’s willingness to cooperate with the US in ways that President General Pervez Musharraf had not would hurt her with a Pakistani electorate, he said.

The two-time Prime Minister returned to Pakistan on October 18 after months of negotiations with the military government of President Pervez Musharraf.

She will lead her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the general elections, which is likely to take place early next year.

However, her homecoming celebration was shattered with twin blasts in Karachi, in which she had a narrow escape.

At least 139 people were killed, including three police officers, and over 550 were injured as suspected suicide bombers tried to attack Benazir’s convoy.

Two explosions went off a minute apart shortly after midnight near Karsaz close to the vehicle Bhutto was travelling in, at the head of a procession of hundreds of thousands of the PPP supporters who had flooded the streets of Karachi to welcome her.

The attack reportedly bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda and resembled assassination attempts by militants linked to the terrorist network on President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in recent years. (ANI)

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