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Benazir's meet with PML-Q chief sparks off speculation

Bhutto's meeting with Shujaat Hussain has sparked speculations that she is close to clinching a deal with the Govt for her return from exile.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 16:36 IST

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's meeting with pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) leader Shujaat Hussain at a function in Dubai has sparked speculations that she is close to clinching a deal with the government for her return from exile to take part in next year's polls.

Bhutto met Hussain at the marriage function of a Pakistan business magnet in Dubai on Tuesday and exchanged pleasantries, media reports here said.

A number of other political leaders, including Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, also attended the event.

Sherry Rahman, Secretary, Information of Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) confirmed that the meeting had taken place, but brushed aside speculations about the meet being a prelude to a deal between the government and the PPP.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of backchannel contacts between Musharraf's aides and Bhutto over working a political rapprochement to enable her to return from her self-imposed exile abroad.

While Musharraf wanted her party to join the ruling alliance to strengthen his rule in the next five years, Bhutto reportedly demanded the corruption cases against her to be scrapped besides a permission to contest the polls.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 16:36 IST