ISLAMABAD: The Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee has supported Government of Pakistan’s request to the UN for an international inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. This was announced by Secretary-General of the Socialist International, Mr. Luis Ayala at a news conference with PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari at the conclusion of the meeting of the Committee in Islamabad on Friday. Information Minister Sherry Rehman and Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf were also present on the occasion.
He said Mr. Zardari would lead a delegation of the Social Republicans to Burma to press for release of the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to allow her to meet her children. He said the organization would also come out with a plan to deal with the food, energy and fuel crises.
The meeting welcomed end of monarchy in Nepal and its joining of the democratic world, demanded free and fair elections in Bangladesh in December this year to enable the country to return to democracy and resumption of six-party talks on North Korea. Replying to questions, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari said the constitutional amendment package was in the final stage. It would first be discussed with Mian Nawaz Sharif followed by other coalition partners and then its release to the press for eliciting public opinion.
After that it would be decided as to when to introduce the package in the parliament. To a question about impeachment of the President he said it would be done when the parliament and people of Pakistan wanted so. Asked about long march, he said they would welcome the march as it is democratic right of the lawyers to do so.
Mr. Zardari said the forthcoming budget would be pro-poor and a scheme would be launched to provide upto two thousand rupee financial assistance per month to families below poverty line to offset the impact of the inflation. They would be provided a card for the purpose, which would be renewable on monthly basis.
He said the phenomenal increase in oil prices in the international market has affected our economy badly but it would be their effort to present a soft budget in view of the difficulties of the masses. The PPP leader said the Government has moved forward on 100-day programme including peace and reconciliation in Balochistan, consolidation of the democratic process, release of the judges and passage of the resolution for UN probe into Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.-SANA