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Benazir steps up pressure on Musharraf

August 07, 2007 09:39 IST

Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Monday said she wants Paksitan President General Pervez Musharraf to surrender his authority to dismiss the country's parliament.

There should be a balance of power between the president and the prime minister and a division of authority on security matters, she was quoted as saying by the Bloomberg News.

"We're really looking for a transition where the powers are carefully demarcated as to who will be responsible for security or who will be responsible for tackling internal militancy," she said.

Musharraf, who heads the military, is under pressure at home and from the US to give up some of the power he seized in a 1999 coup.

Willing to risk arrest, Bhutto said, "I feel the very unity of Pakistan is under threat from the militants and the terrorists who have risen in power since I left Pakistan."

Musharraf and Bhutto had earlier met on July 27 in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Pakistani government.

Bhutto said she doesn't want Pakistan's legislature, last elected in a vote criticised in 2002 as rigged, to become a "rump" parliament.

Musharraf has said he will call on the current parliament to vote to reelect him as soon as September 15. Bhutto and her party are pushing for the presidential election to be held after a new parliament is chosen.

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