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Pak poll will not be rigged: Musharraf
January 21, 2008 15:32 IST
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] has ruled out any possibility of rigging in the upcoming general elections and said his government has made "fool-proof" arrangements to put Pakistan on the path to "true democracy".
Addressing a gathering of the Pakistani community in Brussels on Sunday, Musharraf also said the Scotland Yard probe into former premier Benazir Bhutto's [Images] assassination will help determine the cause of her death and expose the elements who were behind the act.
Musharraf, who is on a four-nation European visit, the first major trip abroad since Bhutto was assassinated, said the British sleuths were expected to give its report on their investigation soon.
The Pakistan president was hopeful that a truly representative government will come to power after the February 18 general election and strengthen democratic institutions in his country.
Ruling out any possibility of rigging in the upcoming polls, he said "fool-proof arrangements" have been made to put the country on the path to "true democracy".
Musharraf has been facing Western pressures to ensure that the polls are free and fair.
He said the elimination of terrorism is a major goal of the country and "we will succeed in it".
The Pakistan Army has made "major headway" by successfully targeting terrorist hideouts in South and North Waziristan, the president added.
Musharraf said it was regrettable that some "political elements" were trying to "exploit" Bhutto's death for their own purposes.
These elements destroyed public and private property worth billions of rupees in the protests following the death of Bhutto across the country, especially in Sindh province, he was quoted as saying by the media.
The three remaining Scotland Yard detectives probing the assassination on Sunday left Pakistan for Britain, where the team will analyse evidence gathered over the past two weeks.
A total of 11 experts from Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command had come to Pakistan to investigate Bhutto's killing in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi on December 27.
The team was asked to assist Pakistani authorities to establish the exact cause of Bhutto's death, an issue which had become a major controversy.
Pakistan's interior ministry initially said she succumbed to a skull fracture sustained during the attack.
Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party dismissed the government's contention as "lies" and her close aide Sherry Rehman said she was shot in the head.
President Pervez Musharraf subsequently conceded that Bhutto might have been shot.
The Scotland Yard investigators might return to Pakistan if needed. The team is likely to submit its report to the Pakistan government by the end of this month, officials said.