The Pakistan Supreme Court will meet on Wednesday (14 February) to consider a last-ditch plea to stay the execution of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
SV INTERIOR: second from left Bhutto's son Nawas Bhutto and on his left in front of microphone Mir Murtaza Bhutto.
CU: Mir listens to question from reporter and replies.
LV AND CU: newsmen take notes as Shah listens to question and replies.
DARBY:"The lawyers will finalise the details of their appeals and the Supreme Court is expected to meet tomorrow. What do you think the chances are now of saving your father?"
MIR:"I am not losing hope as I have said before on different occasions but the situation looks very grim. I believe that the Supreme Court will follow those procedures that have been adopted which is pretend to be fair to give us time to argue the case and dismiss all arguments. I believe they may accept the application but shoot it down. They will not review the sentence, I believe."
DARBY: "Would you concede that at the moment there appears in fact to be very little unrest in Pakistan over the imminent execution of your father?"
SHAH:" There has been little unrest? First of all thousands of his supporters have been arrested. There have been large scale arrests. Troops have been called from the border regions. Border patrol units have been called. Security measures are truly overwhelming. Truly oppressive. And I believe people are also in a state of shock. For these reasons there has not been any widespread agitation. There have been small incidents and there has been bomb blasts and subversion. But the situation cannot last forever. If it is quiet it is the silence of the graveyard. Or the silence of a boiling port or a time bomb. There things, you can't call dates for agitation or civil war. How did it come about in Iran today? You know in one year's time. What happened before? There are certain factors that you cannot conceive which will contribute to the explosion."
Bhutto's lawyers apparently had little hope that they could persuade the seven-man bench to reverse its 4-3 majority decision to hand the former Premier. They are allowed to argue only on apparent errors in the 800 page court judgement. Their 90 page petition alleges numerous grave and serious instances of misreading of evidence and misapplication of the law. Mr. Bhutto awaits the court's decision in a small white-washed cell in Rawalpindi's District Jail.
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Background: The Pakistan Supreme Court will meet on Wednesday (14 February) to consider a last-ditch plea to stay the execution of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Defence lawyers lodged a petition on Tuesday (12 February) asking the court to review last week's rejection of Mr. Bhutto's appeal against the death sentence for ordering the assassination of a political opponent. Mr. Bhutto becomes liable for execution by hanging on Thursday (15 February). In London his sons met newsmen to try to gain world-wide support against the government of General Zia-ul-Haq and Mr. Bhutto's death sentence. They believe there have not been widespread protests against the impending execution of their father because of what they call the "oppressive government" of Pakistan.
SYNOPSIS: Shah Nawas Bhutto and Mir Murtaza Bhutto spoke to John Darby of Visnews about the campaign.