Thursday, Aug 22, 2002
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
In an e-mail interview to The Hindu, Ms. Bhutto disclosed that her nomination papers as a candidate of the newly-formed Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) had been ``notarised and certified'' by the High Commission. Her petition challenging the new laws that barred her candidature in the election would come up for hearing in Karachi tomorrow.
The former Prime Minister lives in Dubai in self-imposed exile since 1998 after a lower court indicted her in a corruption case during the Nawaz Sharif regime.
Ms. Bhutto said she was prepared to forget the past and join hands with the Pakistan Muslim League, till recently led by Mr. Sharif, to take on Gen. Musharraf who, she was convinced, was out to `rig' the October election. She confirmed that for the first time her party would have seat adjustments with its archival the Muslim League in the coming elections.
Ms. Bhutto alleged that Gen. Musharraf joined the international coalition out of compulsion and not out of conviction and charged him with being half-hearted in curbing militancy. She said that there were still elements within the security establishment supporting militants.
On Indo-Pak. relations, she said Gen. Musharraf's tenure as military chief and executive of Pakistan coincided with three war threats vis-à-vis New Delhi and the next three years would be the same unless he was curbed by Parliament. Her party would like to see the Kashmiri people on both sides of the divide socially united without prejudice to the differing views held by India and Pakistan on the issue of territorial unity.
- (Details of interview in International section)
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