PPP to decide on polls in two days: Bhutto

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Islamabad, Nov 21: Pakistan People's Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto has said that her party would take a decision in a day or two on whether to take part in the coming elections or not. Addressing a press conference after a meeting of her party's central executive committee in Karachi last night, she said the issue of taking part in the elections or otherwise had been discussed at length, but final decision had not been taken.

Dawn newspaper quoted Ms Bhutto as saying that she had sought the opinion of party leaders and a decision would be taken within two days.

When asked why in her opinion had President Pervez Musharraf gone to Saudi Arabia at a time when the country was facing a crisis, she said he might have gone to offer prayers.

About the likelihood of Gen Musharraf meeting former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she said during a phone conversation with her Mr Sharif did not speak about such a possibility.

''I had talked to Nawaz Sharif last night and he did not indicate about any meeting with Gen Musharraf.'' Ms Bhutto added,''If he (Gen Musharraf) calls on Nawaz Sharif, we'll welcome it.'' She did not elaborate.

She said that during the conversation with Mr Sharif and also with PML-N leader Iqbal Zafar Jhagra she had discussed the possibility of a common minimum programme for launching a joint struggle against the dictatorship.

''I am in contact with the PML-N and other parties to form a coalition on common grounds to restore democracy in Pakistan,''she said.

The PPP, she said, wanted that all the political leaders should meet her over a cup of tea and discuss the future line of action.

Answering a question about Gen Musharraf leaving the army post, she said it would be good for the nation and the military to have a full-time commander because Gen Musharraf had harmed the army by involving it in politics.

Resolutions adopted by the CEC yesterday condemned the imposition of emergency, suspension of the Constitution, removal and detention of judges, arrests of political activists and curbs on the media.

A resolution said the military dictatorship endangered the survival of the federation. ''The nation knows that the proclamation of emergency was not to combat terrorism but to remove the judges who were to declare Gen Musharraf's election as President illegal and to crush the opposition through rigged elections,''it said.


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