Bhutto to ‘return soon’ to Pakistan
Ex-PM says she has still not reached a deal with General Pervez Musharraf.
“Musharraf is shouting slogans of war against terror in order to win US support”
Ali Abu Hamza, Chichawatni, Pakistan
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The former prime minister has insisted an agreement would hinge on Musharraf stepping down as chief of the army and the lifting of a ban on a prime minister serving a third term, a restriction that currently excludes her from power.
Bhutto, who has corruption charges hanging over her, also wants immunity for officials who served in the late 1980s and 1990s.
In Pakistan, Musharraf is facing increasing instability and turmoil as Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister, prepare to return home.
But many members of Musharraf’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League are alarmed at the prospect of Bhutto returning to take power from them.
Bhutto met with colleagues from her popular Pakistan People’s Party in London on Saturday to decide their next step ahead of elections expected between mid-September and mid-October.
Musharraf hopes he will win another five-year term, but his popularity with voters is diminishing.
With doubts growing about a deal with Bhutto, Musharraf is considering trying to secure the support of conservative religious parties, according to newspapers and a government official.
Another looming problem for Musharraf, and Bhutto, is the return of Sharif, the leader Musharraf overthrew in the 1999 coup that brought the general to power.
On Thursday Sharif announced that he would return to Islamabad on September 10.