Bhutto returns to lead election campaign in Pakistan

By Xinhua

Islamabad : Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Benazir Bhutto arrived here from Dubai Tuesday after visiting her family there to launch her party’s campaign for the Jan 8 general elections.

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Bhutto left Pakistan for Dubai Friday evening to see her children and ailing mother.

On her arrival the former prime minister of Pakistan said that she welcomed the decision of Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), to contest the upcoming general elections.

She added that seat adjustment was possible with PML-N and other parties.

PPP disclosed Monday that Bhutto would likely address PPP workers’ convention in Mardan in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Tuesday and would go to Nowshera Wednesday to address a rally.

The All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM), comprising around 30 opposition parties including PML-N, held a meeting in the eastern city of Lahore Sunday. However, the alliance failed to reach a consensus on whether to boycott the general elections.

Sharif, also leader of the APDM, announced at a news briefing after the meeting that the component parties of APDM would be free to decide whether to contest the general elections.

PML-N and several other APDM component parties said that they would participate in the elections following the announcement. Some political parties have hailed Sharif’s decision.

However, some hardcore parties, which remained resolute on boycotting the elections, accused Sharif of betraying the APDM. Those parties decided Monday to expel the parties that had decided to contest elections and formed a new “APDM”.