Musharraf envoys in London for Bhutto deal
Published: 28 August 2007
General Pervez Musharraf has sent envoys to London to secure a power-sharing deal with one of Pakistan's former prime ministers.
One of the general's ministers confirmed yesterday that the Pakistani leader had sent representatives to talk with Benazir Bhutto, who has had a recent face-to-face meeting with Mr Musharraf about a deal.
His actions suggest he is very concerned Ms Bhutto will back away from such an arrangement for fear that siding with him will cost her political support.
Her concerns may have been triggered by a decision by Pakistan's Supreme Court last week that opened the way for another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, to return. Many of Ms Bhutto's aides are concerned that, by seeing to side with the increasingly unpopular Mr Musharraf, she could see her support shift to Mr Sharif.
"We are in contact with Benazir Bhutto, that's true," said the Information minister, Mohammad Ali Durrani, referring to media reports that three aides of Mr Musharraf were in London. He denied reports that officials were also holding talks with Mr Sharif.
The deal that Ms Bhutto and Mr Musharraf recently discussed would see him continue as president for five more years, with her as prime minister.