Benazir says she can deal with terrorism without uniform
ISLAMABAD: Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party, on Sunday said she could deal with terrorism without being made the chief of the army staff.
“The forces of sectarianism, violence, ethnicity, terrorism and drug trade proliferated whenever Pakistan was under a dictatorial system,” said Ms Bhutto while addressing an iftar party held by the Pakistani community in Houston, USA. The PPP chairperson is currently visiting the US to address select gatherings and meet the Pakistani community. Ms Bhutto said that a strong and stable Pakistan was dependent on freedom, which meant free elections, free judiciary, free press and free political activities.
She said that poverty was neglected in Pakistan because the country was gripped in a power struggle between the forces of dictatorship and the forces of democracy. Democracy and development go hand in hand, she added. Ms Bhutto said that the dismissal of her government was brought about by the shenanigans of the establishment and since then the country had drifted into a nightmare of military dictatorship, terrorism, violence, suicide bombings and economic stagnancy.
The former prime minister denounced terrorism and said that it was the enemy of all humanity. Recalling the days when terrorists held Karachi hostage, Ms Bhutto said that the PPP government was able to end the insurgency with the support of the people of Karachi. She said the Patriot Act had led to racial profiling and many Pakistanis felt that they are now suspected by virtue of being a Pakistani. This can change if the people of Pakistan can take their destiny into their own hands, she added.
Ms Bhutto said the Constitution forbade the army chief from indulging in politics and quoted various article from the Constitution to the gathering. The PPP chairperson said that corruption was rampant in Pakistan under military rule and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was being used as a political tool by the regime. NAB has spent billions on investigating corruption charges relating to 1993 — more than a decade ago — and it still hasnsn’t come up with one conviction against a political leader, she added. online