Accessibility links

Bhutto Condemns State of Emergency in Pakistan


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she believes the state of emergency declaration is a move toward "greater dictatorship" by General Pervez Musharraf.

Mrs. Bhutto says Pakistan is now in a state of what she called "mini-martial law," and she vowed that her party will protest against it.

The former government leader spoke to reporters late Saturday as she returned to Pakistan following President Musharraf's suspension of the constitution.

Mrs. Bhutto had returned to her homeland last month after eight years in exile, and a triumphant parade by her supporters in Karachi was wrecked by a suicide bomb attack that killed 139 people.

She told Britain's Sky News television she agrees with General Musharraf that Pakistan is in crisis, due to political turmoil and violence by Islamic militants. However, she said, the emergency declaration means Pakistan is "going backwards, toward greater dictatorship." She said dictatorship is not the answer.

Mrs. Bhutto said she also believes the imposition of emergency rule was designed to delay parliamentary elections.

The former prime minister added she plans to meet with other political leaders to discuss a strategy for reversing Mr. Musharraf's decision to suspend the constitution.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG