Vol. 5 Num 1022 Tue. April 17, 2007  

Benazir vows return to contest polls

Vowing that she would go back to Pakistan and contest polls, former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto has said that she wanted to reach a political deal with President Pervez Musharraf, which she claimed, would be in the interest of the country.

Fifty three-year-old Benazir Bhutto, speaking to 'The Sunday Times' from her home in exile in Dubai, said that she wanted a deal with the President but that it would be "premature" to say one was imminent.

She vowed to go back despite the danger of assassination by Islamists whom she accused of bringing "Taliban campaigns" to Islamabad.

The Oxford-educated Benazir Bhutto, the Chief of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), said she was not afraid: "I don't worry about it. When it's time to go, it's time to go. I'm committed to contesting the elections."

Benazir Bhutto is the PPP's only candidate for Prime Minister and the report quoted aides as saying that Musharraf will be obliged to let her take the post if she triumphs at the polls.

According to the paper, she confirmed that PPP was in negotiations with supporters of Musharraf to secure free elections for National Assembly and to reach an understanding on how the two leaders would work together if she won.

Benazir Bhutto, the paper said, is convinced that 63-year-old Musharraf will secure a second term as President by seeking re-election from the current Parliament, where his supporters have a majority. She claimed it would be in Pakistan's interest for them to reach an accord.