Islamabad, Dec 4: Former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have agreed to constitute a committee to develop a charter of demands to be presented to President Pervez Musharraf. Speaking at a joint news conference late on Monday night, both leaders said that they had constituted an eight-member committee that would formulate a charter of demands in the next few days.
They warned that failure to meet the charter"s demands by the government would lead to a boycott of the elections.
The committee includes Raza Rabbani, Safdar Abbasi, Naveed Malik, Abdul Qadeer, Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Abdul Raheem Mandokhel and Professor Khurshid Ahmed.
Bhutto told reporters that both leaders had agreed that transparent elections were not possible in the present circumstances. She said that if the Musharraf regime did not meet the committee"s demands, the opposition would boycott the polls.
Sources said that the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) delegation wanted December 14 to be the deadline, but the ARD delegation insisted that the matter should be left to the committee.
Bhutto reiterated that the PPP was contesting the elections in protest and did not want the polls to be delayed. Sharif expressed similar views and said the opposition did not want a boycott, saying any such decision should be unanimous.
"We want to contest elections, even if my nomination has been rejected," the Daily Times quoted Sharif, as saying.
Meanwhile, Maulana Fazlur Rehman met Sharif late on Monday night, and both leaders told reporters that Fazl had agreed to view the charter of demands before giving his opinion on a polls boycott.
Rehman said he believed a poll boycott would only benefit Musharraf.