Bhutto, Sharif team up against Musharraf | india | Hindustan Times
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Bhutto, Sharif team up against Musharraf

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 18:54 IST

Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has reversed her earlier stand of taking part in elections called by President Pervez Musharraf.

This follows her talks in Dubai with another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.

The two are ganging up amid reports that Musharraf may hold a snap parliamentary election later this year.

Bhuttto had only last week told an Indian TV channel that she was ready to take part in elections and was confident of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) winning.

She was also confident of the new parliament amending the present law that forbids her from becoming prime minister a third time.

Musharraf, on his part, had ruled out participation by both former prime ministers.

The pre-poll posturing by the two former prime ministers keeps changing amid speculation that Musharraf's emissaries are in touch with Bhutto.

Bhutto would need to free herself of a series of corruption cases against her. Sharif cannot return as he had left under a deal struck in 1999 in terms of which he is to stay out of the country for 10 years.

While Bhutto had been ready to go for polls under Musharraf, Sharif has repeatedly said it was impossible to be part of any elections conducted by the military ruler.

Musharraf ousted Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Some within PPP feel that she should make participation in elections conditional to Musharraf shedding his uniform as army chief.

Musharraf says he would decide when to give up the military post and claimed that the country needs him in dual role.