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Pakistan withdraws foreign cases against Bhutto's widower
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08:38, March 15, 2008

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Pakistan's anti-corruption body on Friday decided to withdraw the foreign cases against Co-Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari, signaling a major step for him to take office in the upcoming new government.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan will send senior prosecutors to Geneva and London to seek withdrawal of the foreign cases against Zardari, local TV channel Dawn News said.

Earlier on Friday, the Pakistan court has acquitted Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in the last corruption case against him.

The court has already withdrawn six other corruption cases against Zardari on the basis of a National Reconciliation Ordinance issued by President Pervez Musharraf in October last year.

The PPP won the most seats in the Feb. 18 elections and will lead a coalition government with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But Zardari did not stand for the elections because the Pakistanis convicted of a crime are disallowed to do so.

With all the corruption charges against Zardari withdrawn, he is now eligible to contest by-election due in May and thus likely to be elected as a prime minister, local media reported.

Zardari was a minister in Bhutto's second government before it was dismissed in 1996 over corruption accusations, and he spent years in jail for various charges.

But Bhutto and Zardari denied the corruption accusations. Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack on Dec. 27 after returning from self-imposed exile.

Source: Xinhua

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