Karachi, Dec 24: Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has said that if the PPP did not emerge the winner and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz the runner-up in the general elections, the January 8, 2008 poll results would be unacceptable.
Addressing a rally in Larkana, Bhutto said that not only would the results not be accepted, but also protest would erupt much the same way as in the Philippines and Ukraine. She argued that she was taking this stand because an international survey had predicted that the PML-Q stood no chance of winning the elections.
"If the votes of the masses are snatched, the PPP, with the PML-N and other opposition parties, will protest," she said.
"The government is trying to block the PPP"s passage," Bhutto added.
She called on the Election Commission (EC) to suspend all local governments before general elections, as her party would not accept a "goonda force" (thug force) upsetting the polling process.
"There is no need to recruit the police force for only three days ... they will bring their thugs in police uniform," she said in a veiled reference to the use of government machinery.
"We will not accept this. If force is needed to maintain law and order on the polling days, the EC should call in the Pakistan Rangers or Pakistan Army but not the thug force."
Bhutto strongly condemned last week"s suicide bomb attack in Charsadda.
"We respect the original madrassas. We received our education in Islam from the ulema of madrassas, but in 'political madrassas" no Islamic education is being delivered," she said.
"They are teaching children how to make bombs, how to use guns, how to kill women, children and the elderly. It is not permitted in Islam, even in war, for anyone to harm a child, woman or the elderly," the Daily Times quoted Bhutto, as saying.