Bhutto freed, rejects caretaker set up

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Islamabad, Nov 16 (UNI) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto today rejected the new caretaker government under Muhammadmian Soomro as ''not acceptable'' after being freed from three days in detention.

''This caretaker government is extension of Pakistan Muslim League(Q) and is not acceptable to us,'' she told a press conference in Lahore after she was freed from a house-arrest.

Ms Bhutto said she was in contact with former premier Nawaz Sharif and other top political leaders, adding that ''we are mobilising public opinion against dictatorship.'' President Pervez Musharraf today sworn-in Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro as Caretaker Prime Minister at the head of a 24-member cabinet to oversee conduct of the parliamentary elections in the country, which the military ruler has pledged to hold by January 9.

''We want all political prisoners to be released and end of censorship on media,'' she stated and vowed not to hold talks with ''dictators''.

She said her agenda is the agenda of democracy. ''We will not sit silent untill democracy takes roots in the country,'' Ms Bhutto said.

The Pakistan People's Party chief said time was ripe to mount pressure on military Gen Musharraf for holding free and fair elections, which, she added, were not possible under emergency, Chief of Army Staff and present election commission.

She demanded setting up of a catetaker government of ''national consensus'' to supervise elections.

Ms Bhutto was detained on Tuesday ahead of a pro-democracy rally and was detained at PPP leader Latif Khosa's residence in Lahore.

Government of Punjab today withdrew the seven-day detention order against the Pakistan People's Party chief.

''The detention order has been withdrawn but normal police security will stay with her,'' Geo TV quoted officials as saying.

The barricade around her place of confinement will be changed into her security cordon, police said.

The channel also reported that orders have been issued to free human rights activist Asma Jehangir.


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