Election boycott option open: Benazir

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Islamabad, Dec 6: Pakistan People"s Party (PPP) Chairperson Benzair Bhutto has expressed serious reservations about the transparency of the upcoming general elections, and said her party is keeping the option of boycott open.

Bhutto expressed her reservations during a series of meetings with ambassadors of 21 countries, including 18 from Muslim countries.

The foreign envoys met Bhutto to discuss the country"s political scenario after the formation of a joint committee by the APDM and the ARD to chalk out a charter of demands to ensure transparent polls or to boycott the process.

"Benazir briefed the ambassadors on Pakistan"s election history and the various pre-poll and post-pool manoeuvres and manipulations that the establishment has used to obtain the results of their choice," sources said.

They said that Bhutto had also informed the foreign envoys about the 'massive" rigging plan initiated by the government.

"She talked about judicial transfers and postings, partial caretaker setup, the Election Commission, as well as previous chief ministers continuing to enjoy executive powers," the Daily Times quoted sources, as saying.

She also told the foreign envoys that the PPP was participating in the polls in protest and was keeping the option of boycott open because her party was "being pushed to the wall" by the regime.

"We do not want to boycott the election process but at the same time, we want a level playing field for all stakeholders in transparent elections," she was quoted as saying to US Ambassador Anne W Patterson.

The Online reported that the main objective behind the meetings was to create a consensus on a one-point agenda between the government and the opposition parties, regarding the upcoming general elections in the country.

During the meetings, Bhutto underlined that the PPP valued Pakistan"s relations with other Islamic countries, adding that during her tenure as premier of Pakistan, she had played a constructive role for the betterment of Islamic Ummah.


ANI>

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