Pakistan's government refuses to comment on Bhutto's arrest

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Islamabad, Oct 18 (UNI) Pakistan government remained non-committal on whether former prime minister Benazir Bhutto would be arrested on arrival or not.

''The Interior Ministry had received no instructions so far to withdraw her arrest warrants the ministry issued through the Interpol,'' Interior Ministry spokesperson Brig (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema said, adding that foolproof security would be provided to her.

Ms Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, would be returning home today after eight-year self-imposed exile.

The government was conscious of the threat to Benazir and had issued instructions to the provincial government to ensure foolproof security and make comprehensive security plans when she arrived in Karachi, he said.

''Maj Imtiaz Hussain, who is a retired police officer, has already been nominated as the security officer to the former prime minister,'' Brig Cheema said.

The government was concerned about the 'assassination threat' issued by the tribal militant commander Baitullah Mehsud.

Government had imposed a strict ban on carrying and brandishing of weapons throughout the country with immediate effect. Given the prevalent law and order situation and in view of the forthcoming general elections, it was imperative to ensure that the entire election process was held in a smooth and peaceful environment, he noted.

UNI

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