Bhutto Cancels Plans to Leave Pakistan; Court Probes Homicide Bombing
KARACHI, Pakistan – Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto abruptly canceled plans to travel abroad Wednesday, saying she had heard rumors the government could impose a state of emergency during her absence.
The opposition leader, who was targeted by homicide bombers when she returned home on Oct. 18 following eight years in exile, had been preparing to go to Dubai to visit her husband and three children.
She said at a hastily arranged press conference that senior party aides told her President Gen. Pervez Musharraf could impose emergency measures if the Supreme Court found that his recent election win was unconstitutional.
A ruling is expected later this week.
"I wanted to go to Dubai," Bhutto said. "But when these rumors surfaced, I decided to change my program."
The blast during Bhutto's homecoming parade in Karachi killed more than 140 people, the deadliest incident in a wave of violence that has raised fears for Pakistan's stability.
The government has vowed to expose those responsible for the attack, which was widely blamed on Islamic extremists fighting security forces near the Afghan border.