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The deal

02 August, 2007

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Secret talks between General Pervez Musharraf and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto have entered the final phase.

According to sources privy to President House, and the PPP Chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, talks are almost “ successful”, However there are only two minor hitches. First Benazir Bhutto wants General Musharraf o shed his uniform before the presidential elections, while General Musharraf wants to do that after getting re-elected. Second Benazir demands the withdrawal of all the corruption cases against her immediately and unconditionally, while the government is reluctant to do that”, the source said.

The deal revolves around four major points.

First, Musharraf will lay off his military uniform and get elected as a civilian president by the current assemblies with the help of ruling PML (Q), and the PPP. Second, all the corruption cases against Benazir Bhutto will be withdrawn, third, the general elections will be held under a neutral caretaker government, and fourth, the current local bodies government will be dissolved before the elections.

“ The two sides have almost agreed on the four points, however there is still difference of opinion on the implementation”, a source said.

“ General Musharraf is not ready yet to withdraw the corruption cases against Benazir immediately. He has proposed to her to return, participate in the elections, and in the meantime the government will gradually withdraw the cases against her”, he maintained.

According to power sharing formula, the source claims, an amendment will be made in the constitution paving the way for Ms Bhutto to become the prime minister for the third time.

After elections, the PPP will make governments in center, and Sindh province, while PML(Q) will make governments in Punjab and Balochistan provinces, whereas whoever gets majority in north west frontier province, it will be given the chance to form government there.

On the other hand, the ruling PML(Q) and PPP leaders appear to be stunned over the secret talks as General Musharraf and Ms Bhutto did not take them into confidence about the deal.

Here are some questions
1) What’s your opinion about deal? Will it work?
2) Will Benazir be able to tackle the simmering crises in the country?
3) Is America pressurizing Musharraf and Benazir for deal? If yes why?
4) Where will Benazir and Musharraf morally stand after deal as they have hurled serious allegations ranging from corruption to violation of constitution against each other.
5) Balochistan and the NWFP the provinces are most violence-hit provinces, where the PPP has no say. How will Benazir tackle the situation there?

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