KARACHI, Nov 21: British High Commissioner Robert Brinkley called on Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto at Bilawal House on Wednesday. Talking to media personnel after the meeting, she said she had informed the British diplomat about Gen Pervez Musharraf’s ‘breach’ of commitment about quitting the post of army chief.
She also expressed concern that the elections would not be free and transparent and emphasised the need for an independent election commission.
She conveyed to the British High Commissioner her dissatisfaction with the investigation of the October 18 attack on her homecoming procession.
“The international community still believes Musharraf as an ally, they expect restoration of democracy in the country.
“We held talks with Musharraf for the sake of the nation but we suspended the dialogue with him after the imposition of emergency because we believe that we are going back towards dictatorship, repression and oppression.
“And it distracted the roadmap that was on the table. I am happy that the British government desires a level-playing field for all political parties,” she said.
She condemned the ‘arrest’ of Justice Wajihuddin and his lawyer from the judges’ colony in Islamabad. “This is yet another bid to chain the judiciary,” she said.
Meanwhile, the British High Commission said in a statement that Mr Brinkley had called on Ms Bhutto “to discuss the current political situation” and told her that Britain “strongly supports free and fair elections.”
“Mr Brinkley reiterated the UK’s position, calling on General Musharraf to restore constitutional order as soon as possible, and before the January elections, to release all political prisoners and lift curbs on the media, and to step down as chief of army staff,” the statement said.