Pakistan govt giving inadequate security-Bhutto

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KARACHI, Oct 22 (Reuters) Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto today said the government had not provided enough security to protect her after a failed assassination attempt by a suicide bomber who killed 139 people last week.

Bhutto, who returned from eight years of self-imposed exile on October 18, said she had asked President Pervez Musharraf to assign her police officials of her choice after she received warnings to expect further attempts on her life.

''As of now, I haven't got what I want in terms of my security,'' Bhutto told a news conference.

''And it's not just me, I want security provided to all political leaders of Pakistan.'' Bhutto has returned to lead her Pakistan People's Party into national elections expected in January, and there is strong speculation she will enter into a power sharing arrangement with Musharraf after the elections.

Bhutto said it was premature to talk of any partnership with Musharraf, as the Supreme Court still had to rule whether his October 6 re-election should stand, and much would depend on which parties emerged as the strongest in the next parliament.

Bhutto said she had not been informed of what progress the police had made in its investigation into the assassination bid.

She has demanded the case's chief investigating officer be removed, alleging he was present when her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, was tortured while in custody in 1999.

''I expect the government to accede to my demands to hold a full inquiry and to have international support for that full inquiry,'' she said, adding that otherwise it would look like a cover-up.

Without naming anyone, she said there were members of the establishment who were conspiring against her.

''There are very powerful figures behind the assassination attempt on me,'' she said. She added that she had ''no information that General Musharraf was involved at any level''.

Bhutto, Pakistan's politician most capable of mobilising support on the streets, plans to visit Larkana, the town where her ancestral feudal home is and where her father is buried.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of the PPP and Pakistan's first popularly elected prime minister, was hanged by the army chief who overthrew him nearly 30 years ago.

Reuters AE DB2158

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