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'Pak to face massive violence may even split if polls rigged'

world Updated: Feb 17, 2008 14:02 IST

On the eve of parliamentary polls in Pakistan, PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is 100 per cent confident of garnering a majority but warned President Pervez Musharraf-led government not to rig the election which will force him to launch massive street protests leading to the break-up of the nation.

"Up till now I've shown absolute patience. My wife (former Premier Benazir Bhutto) has been killed, yet I've calmed people down, stopped them protesting. I've called no strike.

But I'm telling you, people are absolutely on the warpath. If the elections are rigged the situation will go out of my hands. We'll have no choice but to take to the streets," Zardari said in an interview to The Sunday Times published on Sunday.

Zardari was made co-Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) after Bhutto's assassination on December 27 last year. Their son Bilawal, who is studying at Oxford, was named the Chairman of the party.

"I feel her (Bhutto's) spirit is with me and I won't let her down. But I fear they did not kill Benazir just to let us win... We've played our part responsibly. We've taken part in the elections rather than boycotted. Now it's up to them to give us a free run. People are angry, they are on the breadline, despite the 60 billion dollar windfall Musharraf has enjoyed over the past eight years.

"They want change and they want democracy. If we're allowed free and fair elections I'm 100 per cent sure we will get a majority," Zardari said, while warning that Pakistan would face massive violence which could lead to its break-up if the Musharraf government carries out alleged plans to rig or disrupt the polls.