Bhutto pledges to restore genuine democracy

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Islamabad, Oct 22 (UNI) Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto today vowed to restore genuine democracy in the country in line with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as she visited the mausoleum of the leader.

''I have come to Pakistan to get all fundamental rights for the people and to restore genuine democracy in the country,'' she told reporters during her visit to the mausoleum under tights security arrangements.

She also vowed to free Pakistan from the menace of extremism and terrorism, after she herself escaped the suicide attack on her covoy which left 140 people dead.

Ms Bhutto also called upon the government to enlist international experts to track down the culprits responsible for the October 18 carnage in the city.

''They have anti-terrorism experts who have the technical expertise to investigate attacks of this nature,'' Dawn quoted her as saying in Karachi.

She added that she had discussed the matter with some countries, including the United States and Britain.

She also wanted the Pakistani investigators replaced because she feared that the security agencies had been infiltrated by 'militants and Al Qaeda'.

Saying that Pakistan's future was threatened by Talibanisation, she vowed to confront the terrorists and not to retract from her struggle for democracy and empowerment of the people.

Ms Bhutto said she was carrying on the struggle for the rights of the people and to provide them 'roti, kapra aur makan'.

In view of the terrorist attack, Ms Bhutto said, she would review her campaign programme for the coming election. However, she declared that no power could prevent her from undertaking a mass contact tour.

She said the cowardly attack had failed to intimidate her and the elements who attacked her rally actually wanted to take the country back to the dark ages.

She said it was not an attack just on her or on the PPP caravan but on democracy and the integrity of the country, adding that the culprits knew that they could not challenge her politically because the vast majority of the country had rejected them.

Ms Bhutto criticised religious fanatics and said they did not want the democratic process to continue because they knew that democracy empowered the people. They also knew that the empowered people would not join the army of the so-called jihadis.

These elements wanted to derail the democratic process because it suited their designs to promote their agenda of so-called jihad.

She added that Islam was a religion of peace and prohibited the killing of innocent people, particularly women, adding that extremists were enemies of the people and the country but since 1980s such elements had been gaining strength.


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