Saturday, Jan 31, 2004
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
ISLAMABAD, JAN. 30. The former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, has called for a probe into the reports that the Musharraf regime had called for tenders on July 24, 2000 for the sale of enriched uranium products. Mrs. Bhutto said the tender was being used as proof that Pakistan was violating the doctrine of `No Export of Nuclear Technology' laid down by an elected Premier. She said that an unelected dictatorship had no right to amend laws and policy decisions taken by the elected representatives be it on nuclear technology, the right to contest for premiership a third time, or draconian powers to the President.
Mrs. Bhutto said Gen. Musharraf had worked out a sweet deal for himself where the issue would be ignored as "part of the past" and the scientists would be made the scapegoats. Gen. Musharraf must bear responsibility as the army chief and self-styled Chief Executive for the tender advertisement issued by his handpicked Commerce Minister, she said.
Mrs. Bhutto recalled that Gen. Musharraf had ignored a written complaint about abuse of office and alleged corrupt practices of the Minister, Abdul Razzak. She wanted to know why the investigations against the scientists, who were accused of greed, was being carried out by the ISI instead of the National Accountability Bureau which Gen. Musharraf claimed was for rooting out corruption though no evidence against the scientists has been shown so far.
Mrs. Bhutto said that according to press reports, Saif Qadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, Muammar Qadhafi, had said that Libya gave $40 millions to obtain a "bomb dossier" from Pakistan. She asked why the Bureau was not investigating it. She wanted to know whether Gen. Musharraf or his relatives had any role in the "bomb dossier". She noted that Gen. Musharraf had travelled to Libya at about the same time as the tender advertisement was issued.
She said that the pressures Pakistan faced could not be overcome by a "go it alone" attitude. Consultation with the real political leadership is vital in the national interests. This is why collective wisdom is considered best for governing a nation as practised in the democratic countries.
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