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Pakistani President Musharraf Meets with Opposition Figure Benazir Bhutto

  • VOA News

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has held talks with his political rival, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Senior officials say the president met with the exiled former leader on Friday in the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

It was the first meeting between the two since 1999 when Mr. Musharraf took control of the country in a bloodless coup. Pakistani Information Minister Tariq Azim says it will take many days before something substantive will occur.

Media reports quote unnamed sources saying the talks were aimed at winning Ms. Bhutto's endorsement of President Musharraf's re-election bid.

Ms. Bhutto is reportedly pushing for a return as Prime Minister in a deal that would allow Mr. Musharraf to keep his role as president and military chief.

Ms. Bhutto has served twice as prime minister before but fled the country amid corruption charges in the 1990s.

A political alliance between the two could help Mr. Musharraf gain voters in national elections expected in December of January.

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