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Bhutto Outlines Version of Musharraf 'Agreement'

In a television interview, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto revealed what she described as details of a deal with Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf that would allow her to return both to Pakistan and to Pakistani government. She outlined an agreement and remained steadfast that she is not interested in playing the part of a political puppet. “So we’re not trying to bail out a military dictator by saying we will come there on your terms. What we are seeking is a compromise that could help bring about a stable, democratic, civilian order,” Ms Bhutto said on PBS’s NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. “What we’re negotiating for are certain changes that will empower the parliament to take on the militants,” she said.

With Pakistan under more US pressure to combat the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri cautioned lawmakers in the Pak Senate that Pakistan could not afford to make the United States its enemy, though "red lines" had been drawn for other nations to recognize.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has his own sights set on a similar return, but Musharraf has not entertained the thought of talks with Sharif. Sharif continues to run into legal obstacles that have largely been removed and/or pushed aside for Bhutto during her ongoing talks with Musharraf on a power-sharing arrangement. The reluctant Musharraf increasingly has little domestic choice, but talks with Sharif have been a non-starter, as Sharif is suspected of ties to bin Laden and other Islamist groups inside Pakistan.

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