As Pakistan prepares for the referendum which will decide whether or not Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stays in office, several Muslim countries have expressed their support for him.
As Pakistan prepares for the referendum which will decide whether or not Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stays in office, several Muslim countries have expressed their support for him. Mr Bhutto announced he would hold the referendum as a result of pressure from opposition parties who allege he rigged the general election in March.
According to local reports, unconfirmed rumours that Indian and Iranian troops are gathering on the Pakistan border, have been circulating in Pakistan for several days.
SYNOPSIS: At his home in Rawalpindi, Mr Bhutto met the Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, who pledged his country's support for Mr Bhutto and offered mediation between the Prime Minister and the opposition alliance, which is demanding his resignation. Several Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (formerly Libya) have already expressed solidarity with Mr Bhutto's government. Mr Bhutto offered the voters of Pakistan the referendum to decide his personal popularity rather than risk the chaos of another general election. The referendum is expected to be held within a month.
Mr Bhutto also held talks with Iranian Finance and Economic Minister Hushang Ansary, in a bid to repair the damage done to Pakistan's economy caused by the two months of political turmoil. Mr Ansary signed an accord for the third session of the Pakistan-Iran Ministerial Commission on Economic Co-operation. Mr Ansary said the future was bright and the scope for economic co-operation between the two countries unlimited.