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Pakistan's Exiled Bhutto Calls on Musharraf to Give Up Army Post

  • VOA News

Pakistan's exiled former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, has called on her political rival, President Pervez Musharraf, to give up his dual role as both president and military leader.

Ms. Bhutto told reporters on Friday, that any deal for her return to Pakistan would have to include an end to General Musharraf's position as army chief.

She confirmed Pakistani media reports that she has been in discussions with the government about her return, but did not say whether a deal will be reached.

Ms. Bhutto served as prime minister of Pakistan twice, until the early 1990s. She left in 1999 to avoid facing corruption charges. She now leads Pakistan's largest political opposition group, the Pakistan People's Party, from the United Arab Emirates.

Party officials are urging the Pakistani government to drop the corruption charges against her.

Last month, General Musharraf denied reports he was negotiating with Ms. Bhutto.

Rumors of talks were sparked by the government's decision to transfer an anti-corruption investigator who was handling several major cases involving Bhutto.

That move fueled speculation that General Musharraf may allow Ms. Bhutto to return to Pakistan and use her influence to help form a new coalition government.
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