Bhutto has no plans to contest Senate polls | india | Hindustan Times
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Bhutto has no plans to contest Senate polls

A senior PPP leader said that the former PM has no plans to contest the forthcoming Senate polls next month.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 17:54 IST

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has no plans to contest the forthcoming Senate polls next month, a senior party leader said.

Senior PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim stated on Tuesday that Pakistan government's move to approach Interpol for arresting Bhutto and her husband is "a step to rig the 2007 general elections".

"It seems that the government had contacted the Interpol after reports that Ms Bhutto was planning to contest the Senate polls," Fahim said.

The PPP leader told mediapersons that the party also viewed the government's move as a part of the ongoing campaign against Bhutto to keep her out of the mainstream national politics.

The move was an effort to undermine her visit to Washington, where she was scheduled to meet US parliamentarians.

He said the rulers wrongly believed that Interpol and other foreign law-enforcement agencies were subservient to them like the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Fahim said the government had given an impression to Interpol that Bhutto and Zardari had fled the country and were unwilling to face the courts here.

All cases against Bhutto were politically-motivated and that they did not fall in the jurisdiction of the Interpol, he added.

He said Bhutto had gone abroad with the court's permission.

Similarly, he said, Zardari had been released on a court order after remaining in solitary confinement for almost eight years without conviction.

The PPP leader said there were no convictions or warrants for Ms Bhutto in Pakistan. The ruling for absenteeism was "illegally" passed in 2002 under a special presidential edict to stop Bhutto from taking part in the then general elections and an appeal against the same verdict was pending in a High Court.

In 2003, he said, the Supreme Court held that a person could not be tried and convicted in absentia as it was in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Fahim said the rulers were afraid of Bhutto's return to the country as they knew that they would find no place in politics after her return.

"Bhutto will definitely come and expose these rulers before the masses," he said.