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PPP, govt reach draft agreement
October 05, 2007 15:11 IST
The opposition Pakistan People's Party and the government on agreed on a draft agreement that would grant former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [Images] amnesty in corruption cases and allow her to return to the country ahead of the upcoming general election.
Bhutto approved the draft of a national reconciliation ordinance to be promulgated by President Pervez Musharraf [Images] late on Friday night after the government accepted amendments to the agreement suggested by the PPP, the former prime minister's lawyer and Senator Farooq Naik said.
"Benazir Bhutto has accepted the draft but that doesn't mean a conclusive agreement has been reached," Naik told reporters. He said the PPP expected the President to promulgate the ordinance before the convening of the National Assembly.
Naik said the two sides had agreed on "certain points" but had not reached an understanding on several contentious issues, including the President's power to dismiss the government. He said these issues would be decided later.
Earlier, the Cabinet met at Prime Minister House to discuss and clear changes to the deal suggested by the PPP amidst reports of opposition to the agreement from sections of the ruling PML-Q.
Musharraf, who also attended the meeting, convinced the ruling party's lawmakers, said that the agreement would not leave them "cornered" or have a negative impact on them, reports said.