ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto on Wednesday called for mass protests against imposition of emergency. She said that a long march would be launched from November 13 for the cause.
Addressing a press conference after ARD meeting here, she asked the people of Pakistan to come forward and “fight for the rule of law.” Bhutto asked President General Pervez Musharraf to restore the constitution, hold elections on schedule and quit as Chief of the Army Staff.
The PPP Chairperson was resolute to hold a rally in Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi on Friday in spite of police threats of a crackdown and also called for a “long march” on November 13 from Lahore to Islamabad. “How many people can they put behind bars? We will produce so many that they will not have enough jails,” she said. She urged mazdoor (labourers) and journalists to come forward for the cause, as this is the struggle of all.
Bhutto also stressed that the struggle should be made above all political parties’ interests. She said that for the peaceful transition of powers, President Musharraf would have to restore constitution, and demanded that all those political workers and lawyers, who were detained after emergency imposition, should be released immediately.
The PPP leader said, “The constitution should be restored and Election Commission should announce the schedule for the next general elections.” She also demanded the formation of new Election Commission.
Replying to a question, Bhutto said that no meeting with President Pervez Musharraf has been scheduled to take place. She said, “It is due to dictatorship in the country that extremism is on the rise and we want democracy through transparent and free elections”. She refreshed her demand for the annulment of condition regarding becoming premier for the third time.
Regarding curbs on private news channel in Pakistan, she said “ARD condemns the curbs on media and demands the termination of all sorts of censorship on media.” If the government does not adopt a peaceful way then the people will come out, she warned.