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Benazir, Govt agree on CBMs

Pakistan Govt and Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party have agreed on some confidence building measures.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2007 15:07 IST

The Pakistan government may not be very hopeful of a deal with Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP), but the two sides have agreed on some confidence building measures (CBMs), a government official said on Saturday.

"Under these CBMs the PPP will not create any problem in re-election of President Pervez Musharraf while the government will not create any hurdles in party chief Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan," he told IANS requesting anonymity.

PPP announced on Friday that Bhutto would return to Pakistan Oct 18 and would land in Karachi. The government has welcomed the move with Junior Information Minister Tariq Azim saying that Bhutto would be allowed to land anywhere in the country but would "have to face the corruption cases (against her)".

Bhutto and Musharraf have been negotiating a power-sharing deal for the last five months. The two leaders reportedly met in Dubai last month but the meeting was never confirmed either by the government or Bhutto's party.

Bhutto, after the announcement of her return, told reporters in London that she has been engaged in the process of dialogue with the government for the restoration of democracy in the country so that issues of poverty and unemployment could be addressed.

Asked if the dialogue process was in progress, Bhutto said the question should be asked to the government. "We held a meeting with them on Sep 4, some propositions were discussed and they then said they would return after two days but have not returned so far," she said.

"Return of Benazir Bhutto is aimed at preparation for general elections," Bhutto's spokesperson Sherry Rehman told IANS. She said PPP had chosen the path of dialogue with the government for restoration of genuine democracy in the country.

The PPP chairperson said there was nothing contrary to democracy in the entire dialogue process. "The PPP being a major political party has the responsibility to play its role for pulling the country out of the present situation," she said, adding that was why the "party has entered into a process of dialogue".

Bhutto noted that at present Pakistan was standing at a very delicate juncture and it was up to the political leadership to seek ways and means to come out of it successfully.

First Published: Sep 15, 2007 14:58 IST