Bhutto's PPP holds first election rally

Addressing a rally in Rawalpindi, PPP leaders said Bhutto would return to Pak during the current year to campaign for the next general elections.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 15:54 IST

Holding its first election rally before the polls scheduled for this year, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) on Monday ruled out an alliance with President Pervez Musharraf.

Addressing the rally held in Rawalpindi, second-rung leaders of PPP said Bhutto would return to the country during the current year to campaign for the next general elections.

Around 50,000 people attended the party's biggest rally since Bhutto left for self exile abroad. All Pakistan Minorities Association president Shahbaz Bhatti also attended the rally along with his supporters.

Punjab PPP President Mehmood Qureshi said that Bhutto had decided to return to Pakistan this year ahead of the elections.

He said Bhutto did not need Musharraf's permission for returning to the country and warned the government of serious consequences if it created any obstacle in her return.

"We will resist any hurdle in the way of Bhutto and we expect that nobody will block her arrival," Qureshi said. Alleging that the government intended to rig the polls, he said the PPP would mobilise the public in this regard by holding countrywide rallies.

The prevailing price hike, unemployment and deteriorating law and order situation have multiplied the miseries of common people but the regime was oblivious to their problems.

Qureshi claimed that the PPP would emerge as the winning party if fair and transparent elections were held.

First Published: Jan 15, 2007 14:46 IST