The Pakistani government was studying proposals from the Opposition for a settlement of the four-month old political crisis. Finance Minister and Pakistan People’s Party leader Abdul Hafiz Pirzada said talks between the two sides would start soon. But a spokesperson for the nine-party Pakistan National Alliance repeated the Opposition’s insistence that the proposals were final. He described the plan as reasonable and said the PNA would agree only to minor amendments. He added that the PNA would otherwise resume militant action if it did not have a positive reaction from the government soon.
Bhutto’s Press Meet
Prime Minister Z A Bhutto agreed to look at the proposals only because he was told the proposals were negotiable. The government, he said, would not yield to any ultimatum. Bhutto told a news conference that he would accept the PNA’s demand to hold fresh general elections under an impartial machinery. Bhutto said both sides had agreed in principle to hold fresh election on October 7 under the auspices of the judiciary and the army. The government had also proposed establishing a joint committee to supervise the elections with disagreements being referred to the Supreme Court. Bhutto accused the Opposition of trying to enlarge the Committee until it would become a “Super Government” with all-embracing powers.
A French woman nabbed in connection with the disappearance of blank travellers’ cheques amounting to Rs 60 lakh may be just one chain in the French connection. There appears to be many missing links in the case. Brigette told the police that she was paid one rupee for every dollar of the stolen cheques encashed. She had already encashed some 2,000 dollars from four banks, two of them in Goa. The man who approached her with the deal is a mysterious “Frank”, a French man for whom a state-wide alert is on, police said.