Lahore, Oct 18: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has warned that President General Pervez Musharraf may face fresh confrontations if he continues to “tamper with the Constitution".
Benazir said the judiciary and the political parties would take the matter head-on with Musharraf if he did not listen to the people"s desire for legitimate presidential, parliamentary and ministerial elections.
She also clarified that her much-touted deal with Musharraf was not a “power-sharing" deal. Musharraf and I are not working on a “power-sharing" arrangement, as it is made out to be," Benazir said in an interview with the Washington Times.
She went on to say that the Pakistan People"s Party"s (PPP) dialogue with the Musharraf regime is aimed at “an effective and a peaceful transition to democracy".
“My party and I will rebuild civil society and set up infrastructure for providing education and livelihood at grass-roots levels, so that the country"s youth can take part in building a strong economy," Daily Times quoted Benazir, as saying in the interview.
Commenting on her course of actions to deal with the pro-Taliban and radical Islamic movements in the Northwest Territories, urban areas, madrassas, mosques and intelligence services, she said, “The key to successfully controlling fanaticism in the border areas is to make citizens aware of the dangers that extremists pose and to build a groundswell of support for the government, so that Pakistan can control the militants."
Al Qaeda has replaced drug barons in the tribal regions — but the result is the same: terrorism and lawlessness. In 1993, Pakistan was on the brink of being declared a terrorist nation following the first attack on the World Trade Center, the newspaper quoted Benazir, as saying.
When asked how she would deal with those opposed to any deal with the General, she said, “I am well aware that some in Pakistan have questioned the dialogue I have engaged in with Musharraf. But I believe that the solution to the current crisis is a political one –- and that dialogue is the only basis for a peaceful resolution to the crisis."
On threat calls to her life, she said, “I do not fear the extremists, for I have put my fate in the hands of the people of Pakistan, and my faith in God."