파키스탄 정부는 망명중인 베나지르 부토 전 총리의 부패 혐의 기소를 취하하기로 결정했습니다.

쉐이크 라쉬드 철도장관은 2일, 파키스탄 고위 관계자들이 부토 전 총리에 대한 해묵은 수회사건을 원칙적으로 취하하기로 합의했다고 밝혔습니다.

이같은 조치는 페르베즈 무샤라프 대통령과 권력분점 협상을 위해 노력해온 부토 전 총리의 주요 요구조건의 하나를 충족시킨 것입니다. 1988년부터 1996년까지 두 차례에 걸쳐 총리직을 역임했던 부토 전 총리는 수회 혐의로 기소되자 파키스탄에서 해외로  망명했습니다.

부토 전 총리는 기소를 피해 스스로 택한 8년간의 해외망명생활을 마치고 오는10월 18일에 파키스탄으로 귀국할 것이라고 밝혔습니다.

*****

The government of Pakistan has decided to drop corruption charges against exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad says top Pakistani officials have agreed "in principle" to throw out the old cases against Ms. Bhutto.

She has been trying to work out a power-sharing deal with President Pervez Musharraf, and this latest move meets one of her key demands. Ms. Bhutto, who twice served as prime minister (from 1988 to 1996), left Pakistan after she was charged with graft.

She has said she will return to Pakistan October 18th, eight years after she went into self-imposed exile to escape prosecution.

A spokesman for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, Farhatullah Babar, told VOA that nothing has been said about Ms. Bhutto's most important demand -- that President Musharraf step down from his dual role as army chief before he runs in the October sixth presidential election. Babar said the party is still considering the option of boycotting the ballot, which is held by the parliament and provincial assemblies.

President Musharraf has promised to resign as military chief if he wins another five-year term in office. Anticipating his victory, a former intelligence chief was appointed today (Tuesday) to replace President Musharraf in the post.

Lieutenant General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, a former top official in the powerful Inter Services Intelligence agency, will take over as army chief if the president wins.