The Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has said he is hopeful for a negotiated settlement of his country's troubles.
SV Riot police walking through streets in Rawalpindi as crowd looks on (3 shots)
GV Demonstrators marching along street (3 shots)
GV Demonstrators disperse as police fire tear gas (2 shots)
SV Police firing tear gas
SV Demonstrators throwing stones at police (3 shots)
SV Police forming line and walking towards demonstrators with batons
GV Police trucks arrive and police fire tear gas
GV Blazing truck and house (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators throwing stones and police retaliate with tear gas
LV Police firing tear gas from truck
CU & SV Car burning
GV & SV Police reinforcements arriving
GV Demonstrators and blazing car
LV Demonstrators outside bank
SV Fires in road and people watching from balcony (2 shots)
SV Damaged car
LV Demonstrators milling around in street (2 shots)
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Background: The Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has said he is hopeful for a negotiated settlement of his country's troubles. Mr. Bhutto was speaking on Saturday (30 April) after a meeting with the acting opposition leader, Pir Pagaro. The Prime Minister's statement came after violent demonstrations in the streets of Rawalpindi by people calling for his resignation.
Pakistan's parliament is still functioning but is only being attended by members of the ruling People's Party. Many of the opposition members are being held in detention.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of riot police were put on special alert. The demonstration had been given much publicity and was meant to be a march on Mr. Bhutto's house by up to two million opposition supporters. But police estimates put the number of demonstrators as nearer 10,000 and army reserves were not called upon. The opposition claimed that many would-be demonstrators were stopped from entering Rawalpindi by police. But those opposition supporters that did turn out made sure that their call for Mr. Bhutto's resignation was heard.
Police stopped the demonstrators from reaching Mr. Bhutto's house by using teargas and making repeated baton charges. At least one demonstrators was shot and wounded, according to eyewitnesses. Stones thrown by the crowd hurt several policemen. Mobs set the headquarters of the police anti-corruption bureau on fire along with a number of vehicles.
More than 250 people have died in street violence in Pakistan since the country's general election in March. The opposition parties claim that the poll was rigged in Mr. Bhutto's favour and demand a new election. They have also called for the Prime Minister's resignation as a pre-condition for discussing an end to their mass anti-government agitation. But Mr. Bhutto -- leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party -- has refused to resign his position as Premier. He said in parliament earlier this month that he would not be dictated to with a pistol at his head.
Mr. Bhutto has also claimed that the United States was behind the opposition's campaign against him. He said there was an international conspiracy to bring down his government. But the United States and opposition leaders have denied the charges.
Mr. Bhutto's visit to opposition leader, Pir Pagaro, after the Rawalpindi demonstrations has renewed hopes for a negotiated end to the confrontation.