President in uniform not acceptable : PPP to McKinnon

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Islamabad, Sep 21 (UNI) The Pakistan People's Party has expressed serious reservations over President Pervez Musharraf seeking re-election without doffing uniform and reiterated that it would resign from present Assemblies to protest the move.

''We will not support President Pervez Musharraf's re-election from the present assemblies as it is a negation of democracy and we have the option to resign from the assemblies,'' PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badr and party spokesman Farhatullah Babar told newspersons yesterday after a meeting with Commonwealth Secretary General Donald C McKinnon, The Nation reported.

The party leaders urged the Commonwealth and other international organisations to mount pressure on Gen Musharraf to divest his uniform, saying the military ruler's re-election in uniform would further destabilize the country.

''We are holding a dialogue with General Musharraf but will not lend our support to him in uniform,'' Mr Badr said.

He said the PPP would never accept the President in uniform as it negated the basic principles of democracy. The PPP Secretary General predicted that the next ten days would be decisive for the political future of the country.

Mr Farhatullah Babar said the PPP would take a final decision on resigning from the assemblies when the President submits his nomination papers.

Mr Badr clarified that his party had initiated the dialogue process for the establishment of democracy in the country ''but those who took refuge under the uniform were sabotaging the smooth transition from military to the civilian rule''.

Meanwhile, PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal announced that federal and provincial lawmakers of constituent parties of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) would resign when Gen Musharraf file his nomination papers.

UNI

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