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Bhutto's Husband Released Again On Bail


Authorities in Pakistan have freed the husband of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from house arrest, a day after he was detained for failing to attend a court hearing.

Ms. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari had been released on bail last month after spending eight years in jail on charges ranging from corruption to murder. He was re-arrested on Tuesday after a provincial court in Karachi cancelled his bail for failing to attend a court hearing in a murder case against him.

Mr. Zardari was detained at Islamabad airport as he arrived there to address an opposition rally, and was flown back to Karachi and placed under house arrest.

Speaking to VOA by telephone from Karachi immediately after his release, Mr. Zardari accused the government of President Pervez Musharraf of victimizing its political opponents. He says such actions are meant to discourage the pro-democracy campaign in Pakistan.

"We will keep pursuing our cause because ours is not a cause of clashes, we are democratic people," he said. "We are not interested in grabbing power. And I think democratic forces should put more pressure on the [military] establishment so they can learn better. Maybe they don't know the definition of democracy."

Mr. Zardari is accused of corruption while his wife, Benazir Bhutto, was the prime minister of Pakistan in the early 1990s. Ms. Bhutto has been living in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since 1999 to avoid arrest herself in corruption cases.

Since his initial release on bail a month ago, Mr. Zardari has emerged as a prominent opposition figure. The opposition political party headed by his wife is critical of President Musharraf's policies, particularly the military leader's plans to remain the army chief and president of Pakistan.

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