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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 21, 2007
Benazir, Nawaz Sharif vow to return for Pak elections
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Benazir, Nawaz Sharif vow to return for Pak elections

Exiled former prime ministers of Pakistan -- Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have vowed to return home for the general elections, despite facing threats of jail terms and President General Pervez Musharraf ruling it out.

Washington, May 21 : Exiled former prime ministers of Pakistan -- Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have vowed to return home for the general elections, despite facing threats of jail terms and President General Pervez Musharraf ruling it out.

In an interview published by the Sunday Telegraph in London, Bhutto said: "No matter what, I'm going back this year."

She said the corruption charges against her were part of a smear campaign.

The report said she is gambling on the assumption that any moves by Gen Musharraf to throw her in jail would backfire and hand a propaganda coup to her supporters.

Asked if talks with Gen Musharraf had taken place, the Daily Times quoted Benazir as saying, "It is inappropriate to talk of back-channel contacts against the background of the Karachi killings."

She charged Musharraf with allowing "the shadow of extremism" to fall on Pakistan.

"Dictatorships by their nature are unrepresentative, they neglect the social needs of the people. The political madrassas exploit the neglect of governance, offering food, clothing, shelter and education to the children of the poor. They then brainwash these students and use them as fodder in their grand design to dismantle the state by infiltrating key institutions, establishing terror groups and establishing a parallel state structure," she added.

Sharif told the Sunday Telegraph that he, too, was planning to return to Pakistan, despite also facing corruption charges.

"The iron is hot, but after a few weeks or months it will start melting and I will go when it starts melting. He can put the handcuffs (on me) if he wants - he put me in jail for 14 months before," he was quoted as saying.

He said parliamentary democracy had been reduced to "rubber stamping" Gen Musharraf's decrees.

ANI

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