Bhutto stops ‘secret’ parleys with govt
Former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto has ended all contacts with the government through "backdoor channels" until the elections, a top leader of her party has said.world Updated: Dec 09, 2007 23:00 IST
Former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto has ended all contacts with the government through "backdoor channels" until the elections, a top leader of her party has said.
"At present, no backdoor channel is active and it is our decision not to engage in such an exercise," said Rehman Malik, a leader of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and one of her aides who was involved in the talks with the government.
Bhutto returned to the country from eight years in self-exile in October after secret parleys between her and President Pervez Musharraf resulted in issuance of a controversial ordinance granting her amnesty in graft cases.
Malik, however, did not rule out the possibility of talks with Musharraf or his aides after the January 8 general election.
He said the PPP would not enter into secret negotiations and "everything would be done in the public eye".
"The chapter of secret talks stands closed," Malik, a former chief of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), told 'The News' daily.
Malik also dispelled the impression that Bhutto planned to stay with her family in Dubai for over a week to avoid a meeting with the leadership of All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM), an alliance of opposition parties which includes former Premier Nawaz Sharif's PML-
N, on the contentious issue of boycotting the parliamentary polls.
"She would be back after two or three days, for which the schedule has not yet been finalised. Mohtarma (Bhutto) has no other commitment except engagements with her family members during her stay in Dubai," he said.