INTRODUCTION Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, struggling to stay in power in the face of massive demands for his resignation, has introduced a ban on liquor, gambling, night clubs and race-courses.
INTRODUCTION Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, struggling to stay in power in the face of massive demands for his resignation, has introduced a ban on liquor, gambling, night clubs and race-courses. He announced the move as a concession to orthodox Muslim demands among the opposition Pakistan National Alliance, the PNA. Pakistan was originally created as a Muslim homeland.
SYNOPSIS: Much of the nation has been paralysed by strikes and violence since Mr Bhutto was swept back to power in the general election last month (March). His ruling Pakistan People's Party -- the PPP -- has been widely accused of faking the election results. Mr Bhutto himself has admitted there were some irregularities in the figures, and the Pakistan Election Commission has declared six Government members of parliament unseated because of illegalities in voting.
Karachi, the country's principal part, came to a virtual halt following nationwide strike call by labour leaders. After a mass rally on Tuesday (April 19) a total curfew was imposed on the city.
Mr Bhutto's closure of night-clubs and race courses, and his promise to follow it with the introduction of Islamic Shariat holy laws, has been rejected by the opposition PNA.
Although the moves were on their own election manifesto, PNA leaders condemned Mr Bhutto's adoption of them as a diversion away from the main issue. The main issue, they said, was the demand that Mr Bhutto resign. Mr Bhutto has flatly refused -- but has offered to re-hold some provincial elections, as a test of public opinion.