July 2002 News

Benazir is all set to win PPP polls, rejects Kashmir jihad

25 July 2002
The Asian Age

London: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Wednesday asserted Pakistan People’s Party, if voted back to power, would totally reject the idea of 'jihadis' fighting in Jammu and Kashmir and pursue a more pro-active policy towards India. 'If my party is voted to power, I will have a more pro-active policy towards India and I will totally reject the idea of jihadis fighting in Kashmir,' she told Pakistani journalists at a luncheon meeting in London. Ms Bhutto, a key figure for two decades in Pakistan’s chaotic and tension-filled political scene, on Wednesday appeared strongly positioned to retain leadership of the country’s biggest political party. The Pakistan People’s Party is to hold elections on Sunday and 'so far, she is the only candidate for chairperson,' said party spokesman Farhatulla Babar. The election for party leader is the first time the group will have held an internal ballot. The move comes under new laws ordering all parties to hold such balloting to qualify for the National Parliament elections scheduled for October 10. The parliamentary elections are being portrayed by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf as a fulfilment of his promise to restore democracy and constitutional rule within three years of the coup that brought him to power in 1999. But Gen. Musharraf has pushed for passage of constitutional amendments before the election that critics, including Ms Bhutto, say would eviscerate parliamentary power and institutionalise dictatorship.


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