Pakistani Prez Drops Charges Against Bhutto

Musharraf boosts hopes of power-sharing deal with longtime rival
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2007 1:01 PM CDT
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, speaks about the political situation in Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pakistani politics took another hairpin turn today when Pervez Musharraf dropped longstanding corruption charges against ex-PM Benazir Bhutto, reviving prospects of an alliance between the rivals. Musharraf is hoping Bhutto dissuades her party from joining the 85 parliament members boycotting Saturday's presidential election to rob it of legitimacy. Bhutto was accused of money-laundering during her years in power.

A Bhutto-Musharraf deal seemed remote as Bhutto’s demands that Musharraf relinquish military power before the election sparked the parliamentary boycott, the Guardian reports. But Musharraf has removed one of two obstacles for her return to power; Bhutto, who has been in exile since 1999, also needs a constitutional amendment allowing her a third term.