KARACHI, Nov 25: Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto said on Sunday that if all political parties decided to boycott the upcoming general elections the PPP would deliberate on the issue and take a suitable decision.

However, she made it clear that the PPP was preparing to contest the elections because it could not leave the field open to rivals.

She was talking to newsmen after filing her nomination papers for the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly at the offices of the provincial election commissioner here on Sunday.

Ms Bhutto later flew to Larkana in the evening where she is expected to file nomination papers on Monday for NA-204, Larkana-I and NA 207, Larkana-1V, for general seats.

She welcomed return of Nawaz Sharif’s and said this would have a positive effect on political activities in the country.

“We welcome his return to the country; it will contribute positively to the political scene,” Ms Bhutto said, adding seat-adjustments accords could be reached with the PML-N and other opposition parties.

Answering a question, she said that the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) had not finally decided to boycott the polls, adding that it had only issued a warning to the government.

”It remains to be seen what their next step is,” she said.

Ms Bhutto told a questioner that if all the opposition parties decided to boycott the elections and wanted the PPP to join their platform, her party would engage in dialogue with the APDM.

M.B. Kalhoro adds from Larkana: PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto said that she would soon contact PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif to discuss different issues pertaining to general elections.

Talking to journalists at the Moenjodaro airport after arriving from Karachi on Sunday night, Ms Bhutto said that massive pre-poll transfers and postings in Sindh had created some doubts about the transparency of elections and termed the move a pre-poll rigging.

The PPP leader said that her party was participating in the elections ‘under protest’, saying ‘we don’t want to leave the field open for our rivals’. She said she would soon contact other political parties to evolve a strategy for the fair and free elections in the country.

She claimed that names of fake voters had been enlisted in her constituency and despite repeated complaints, the Election Commission had done nothing so far.

She said some polling stations had been established in ‘autaqs’ of waderas and demanded of the Election Commission to relocate these polling stations to government buildings.

She opposed the deployment of private guards at the polling stations on the polling day, and asked the caretaker government to prove its impartiality.



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