Eighteen political parties in Pakistan have applied for registration to contest the national elections called by General Zia ul-Huq in November.
LV AND CU INTERIOR: Asghar Khan (centre) speaking to newsmen (2 shots)
CU AND LV: Mr. Asghar replying to questions. (3 shots)
SV: PNA Party members taking seats in Islamabad meeting.
SV: Seated (left to right) Maulana Mufti Mahmud, Mian Mohammed Tufail, and Pir Pagara.
SV: Other party members seated at meeting. (3 shots)
SV: Maulana, Mian and Pir seated talking.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Eighteen political parties in Pakistan have applied for registration to contest the national elections called by General Zia ul-Huq in November. The parties have submitted their accounts under protest against the new electoral system. Party accounts must be audited to prove that no contributions have been received from foreign sources.
SYNOPSIS: The head of the Istiqlal Party former Air Marshall Asghar Khan lashed out at what he called unpardonable waste of the country's wealth, by the rich and the powerful in the community.
Mr. Asghar is tipped by some to be Pakistan's future Prime Minister. He founded Istiqlal party in 1970 and was detained for a time after the government of Mr. Bhutto's People's Party was overthrown by General Zia in 1977. He promised that his party would cut expenditures in both public and private sectors, and reduce the country's foreign debt.
In Islamabad, on tuesday (18 September) officials of the six-party Pakistan National Alliance held crucial meetings to decide proceed with a boycott of the elections over the electoral laws.
Some of the leaders were against the boycott because position to the procedures from many quarters has not forced a change. Critics of General Zia say the new method of proportional representation is amove against the strongly tipped People's Party, although the critics of the system at this meeting were among those who helped defeat Mr Bhutto's party.