- Title: PAKISTAN: Pakistan's Bhutto suspends negotiations with President Musharraf
- Date: 12th November 2007
- Summary: (W3) LAHORE, PAKISTAN (November 11, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS SECURITY BUILDUP IN LAHORE/ SECURITY BARRIERS AND POLICE WITH BATONS /STICKS ON PATROL ARMED POLICE STANDING BY ROAD BARRICADE POLICE STANDING BY POLICE VEHICLE IN STREET
- Embargoed: 27th November 2007 12:00
- Location: Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA9CVFF72FH2C4EXBA1HUXS54QH
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says her party has suspended talks with President General Pervez Musharraf. Bhutto is ready to begin a mass protest against Musharraf's emergency rule.
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Monday (November 12) urged Pakistanis of all shades to join a motorcade protest against President Pervez Musharraf's emergency rule and vowed it would go ahead even if police try to block her, this as the police presence in Lahore grew.
Two-time former Prime Minister Bhutto plans to lead a 3-4 day long procession of vehicles from the city of Lahore to Islamabad on Tuesday(November 13) to demand General Musharraf quit as army chief, end emergency rule, reinstate the Constitution and free thousands of detained lawyers and opponents -- including many from her own party.
Talking to reporters at a news conference late on Sunday (November 11) Bhutto said that her party had suspended talks with President General Pervez Musharraf.
"We suspended our negotiations. We consider the step, the announcement the elections schedule. a positive development. But at the same time we feel that General Musharraf should also resign, retire-----resign as army chief by November 15 under article 44 of the Constitution. Because right now the government is claiming that he can't retire as chief of army staff, because if he does than his presidency is under questioning," Bhutto said.
Police have warned Bhutto could face a suicide assassination bid, like the one at a rally last month to welcome her back from eight years in self-imposed exile which killed 139 people.
Musharraf set off a storm of criticism when he imposed emergency rule on November 3 and has come under pressure from Western allies and rivals to set the nuclear-armed country back on the path to democracy.
He is likely to face more calls to restore democracy when the 53-nation Commonwealth group of mostly former British colonies holds a special meeting in London on Monday to discuss Pakistan.
Musharraf justified the emergency by saying the judiciary was hampering the battle against militants and interfering with governance.
However diplomats say his main objective was to stop the Supreme Court from ruling invalid his October 6 re-election by assemblies his supporters dominated.
Musharraf said on Sunday a general election would be held by January 9 but declined to say when the emergency would be lifted and the constitution restored.
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