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Former Prime Minister Bhutto 'Prepared to Catch Next Plane' to Address Charges in Pakistan


Responding to "red notices," Bhutto told reporters at a press conference at VOA that she is prepared to go to Pakistan to face charges

Washington, D.C., January 26, 2006 - Following Interpol's announcement that it has issued "red notices" that seek the arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto told reporters at a press conference at the Voice of America (VOA) today that she is prepared to go to Pakistan to face charges.

"I learned about it from the press," Bhutto told VOA, continuing, "My lawyer has written to the Ministry of the Interior as well as to Interpol. My lawyer has asked them to confirm that the news is accurate, and if so, on what grounds." Bhutto concluded, "As far as I am concerned, if any court wants me in Pakistan, I am prepared to catch the next plane and go to Pakistan."

Bhutto began a VOA press conference with brief remarks on the war on terrorism and democratic reform in Pakistan. "The most effective way to undermine terrorism, in the view of the Pakistan People's Party, is to create stable, pluralistic structures through democratic reform," she said. "I believe that Pakistan is an example of a nation where the forces of tyranny and terrorism mingle to create an uncertain future."

Excerpts from the VOA Newsmaker Press Conference with the former prime minister will air during VOA's Urdu television program, Khabron se Aage (Beyond the Headlines) and Radio Aap ki Dunyaa (Your World), along with other VOA language services. Programming can also be found on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Urdu

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or E-Mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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