Pakistan president vows to restore civilian rule as Bush calls for quick elections.
Musharraf and Bhutto had been in contact for several months discussing a possible power-sharing deal after general elections due in January and the president gave her amnesty on graft charges in October to allow her to return home.
A huge police deployment and hundreds of supporters were there to catch a glimpse of Bhutto as she headed to her Islamabad residence on Tuesday.
|Bhutto says she has no plans to meet
Musharraf while in Islamabad [AFP]
The authorities cut mobile phone coverage in parts of Islamabad after Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was removed from his post at the weekend, addressed a rally by phone.
Calls to congress
Meanwhile, Musharraf is using personal persuasion to try to ward off US congressional restrictions or outright cuts in US aid to protest against his suspension of Pakistan‘s democratic system.
“I am very worried and angry – Musharraf should realise that we don’t need him”
Avas, Islamabad, Pakistan
Musharraf telephoned Tom Lantos and Joseph Biden, both Democrats, who head the committees of the House of Representatives and the senate that deal with foreign relations.
Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate, said it was clear to him from the conversation “that President Musharraf understands the consequences for his country and for relations with the United States if he does not return Pakistan to the path of democracy”.
Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would not to comment.
Also on Tuesday, the UN secretary-general rejected Pakistan‘s protest about his statement expressing serious concern at the imposition of emergency rule and again urged the government to release all detainees and restore democratic rule.
Munir Akram, Pakistan‘s ambassador, met Ban Ki-moon on Monday “and conveyed his protest on the issuance of a statement by him regarding the internal developments in Pakistan“, the Pakistani embassy said.
Ban “urged strongly that Pakistani government should return to democratic rules and procedures as soon as possible, and also urged the Pakistani leadership to release immediately all the detained political leaders, and lawyers and the [UN’s expert] on freedom of religion and faith”.
|Lawyers and opposition politicians have
borne the brunt of the crackdown [AFP]
Musharraf has detained hundreds of lawyers and opposition politicians since declaring the emergency on Saturday and also replaced a number of Supreme Court judges.