Benazir to start ''virtual' rallies

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Islamabad, Oct 23 (UNI) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is considering ''virtual'' mass rallies and campaigning via phone to avoid mass violence after last week's suicide attack on her convoy.

Ms Bhutto wrote in a British news publication,''Instead of the traditional mass caravans of Pakistani politics, the feasibility of virtual caravans and virtual mass rallies where I would deliver important campaign addresses to large audiences all over the four provinces of Pakistan is being discussed.

''Pakistan is not California or New York, where candidates can campaign through paid media and targeted direct mail. That technology is not only logistically impossible, but it is inconsistent with our political culture,'' the News reported.

She further wrote the people of Pakistan expect mass rallies and caravans, and to hear directly from their leaders through bullhorns and loud speakers.

''Intimidation by murdering cowards will not be allowed to derail Pakistan's transition to democracy,'' she wrote.

Possibility of further attacks has led the Pakistani authorities to consider banning political processions in the run-up to the general election.

Ms Bhutto condemned the plan, as she sees processions as a key step in restoring democracy after eight years of military rule by President Pervez Musharraf.


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