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PPP blasts minister's statement

February 25, 2004

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: The Pakistan People's Party has condemned the statement of Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed accusing the party chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, of corruption.

The PPP information secretary, Taj Haider in a statement here on Tuesday, said the information minister was irked over the interview of Ms Bhutto in which she had said that "it was not possible that nuclear scientists could have nuclear technology on their own without the involvement of some others whom the regime wants to protect".

Information Minister Shaikh Rashid in a statement had said that "Benazir Bhutto was corrupt and power hungry and that the late Dr Niazi had been getting money on her behalf from Libya for nuclear sales".

Mr Haider said, "whether it irked some one or not the PPP will continue to demand the setting up of a bipartisan parliamentary commission of inquiry to probe into the Friday bazaar of nuclear sales and expose and punish the real proliferators.

"If a parliamentary probe is not held and only the scientists are scapegoated then the real proliferators will roam free to proliferate yet again threatening the peace of the region and the world."

The minister has claimed that Gen Musharraf had nothing to do with nuclear sales and that he was somewhere else when nuclear sales took place. "Would Shaikh Rashid tell whether Gen Pervez Musharraf was not the chief executive of the country in July 2000 when buyers of nuclear technology were sought through open tenders in newspapers", the PPP information secretary questioned.