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Benazir plans to return before next elections


Dubai : Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party, hopes to return to Pakistan well before the next general elections which may take place at the end of this year.

In an interview to Washington Post, she said "In any event, I would like to go back, and am looking at the window between September and December to do that", Pakistan's Online news agency said.

Bhutto accused the Musharraf government of being soft on extremist elements, while defending her tenure by asserting that despite backing the Taliban movement there were no Al Qaeda camps in Pakistan around at that time.

She cited her collaboration with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the arrest of Ramzi Yousaf, the man suspected to be behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre, and the crackdown on other extremist groups as proof of her being a strong champion of anti-extremism.

"Elections are important, because at the end of the day, when we empower the people, the minority extremists will get totally marginalized and sidelined: their strength is being disproportionately blown up," she said.

Bhutto has termed the elections as the battle for the heart and soul of Pakistan, as well as for the rest of the Muslim world, and the world at large, and said that her efforts were geared globally, rather than just towards a country, or a region.