Bhutto ineligible for third term as PM: PML-Q
Pakistan's ruling PML-Q party on Sunday kept up its attack on former premier Benazir Bhutto, saying she is ineligible for a third term as prime minister under the constitution.
"As the constitution does not permit Benazir Bhutto to become prime minister for a third term, the Pakistan People's Party should bring forth its nominee for the top slot," Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani told a press conference in Lahore.
Durrani also said he would soon issue three white papers on the performance of the governments run by the PPP, PML-N and PML-Q.
"All the three parties have ruled the country for almost same period -- five years -- and these white papers will expose the performance of all three governments. This will help the nation distinguish between the plunderers of the exchequer and those who served the people."
His comments came soon after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said in Karachi that a reconciliation of the PML-Q and the PML-N of former premier Nawaz Sharif was a "possibility" ahead of the general election in January.
Bhutto's recent war of words with top PML-Q leaders has caused uncertainty about her talks with President Pervez Musharraf to forge a power-sharing arrangement.
Durrani said the PML-Q and its allies would pose a strong challenge to the PPP in Sindh province. "This coalition had defeated the PPP in Larkana in recent local body polls and it will foil the safe sailing of traditional feudal powers of Sindh in the general election," he said.
He said the government is confident that the situation in the restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan would improve by January and the polls would be held there as scheduled.
"The reinforcement of law enforcement agencies in the NWFP will be completed by December and the security personnel will be equipped with the latest gear, training and other resources," he said.
Durrani said the government is committed to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) issued by Musharraf to grant amnesty to Bhutto in corruption cases.
"The NRO was issued after the approval of the cabinet as we wanted to introduce reconciliation in the political arena. However, it is Benazir Bhutto who has spoiled this environment by launching political attacks against the PML-Q leadership," he said.