INTRODUCTION: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is heading for a landslide victory in Pakistan's general elections, among opposition charges that the elections were rigged.
GV Demonstrations of Prime Minister Bhutto's supporters on last day of his election campaign in Karachi, Pakistan (4 shots)
SCU Bhutto being interviewed
TRANSCRIPT: MANGOLD: "Bhutto's achievements -- a reawakening of national pride and an adroit foreign policy that keeps Pakistan friendly with all its important neighbours -- are real enough. His style may infuriate his critics, but no one can argue his stamina. Only hours after this day-long and tiring rally, I spoke to him."
SEQ 2: MANGOLD: "Prime Minister, what's the basic message you're giving the people to get them to vote for you?"
BHUTTO: "I have spoken to them on the effort of the government in the last five years. We have gone through extraordinary times and I have recalled the experience and the trauma through which the country has passed and then I talked about our economic programme and our economic achievements. And from the beginning, my party has laid great emphasis on the improvement in the social-economic situation in Pakistan."
MANGOLD: "It's been quite a rough and tumble election, did you expect it to be quite as close as it has been?"
BHUTTO: "I did not expect it to be a tough contest -- this is totally incorrect. My colleagues, my press colleagues know that I warned them that it would be quite a tough contest. The reason for that is not so much the attraction of the opposition or their personalities, but, you know, in under-developed countries, there is a kind of inherent, militant opposition which develops on account of the obvious failure or -- I didn't mean failure -- or the inability of governments with limited resources to meet the high and great demands of developing societies. So, from that point of view, frustration develops over the question of planning standards, employment, housing and this militant factor contribute to the development of opposition as such and especially in spirited and live communities like Pakistan."
At least four people died and more than 500 were injured during the voting. Troops patrolled parts of Karachi and frequently used tear gas to disperse crowds. The chairman of the nine-party opposition alliance, Maulana Mufti Mahmud, has charged that Mr Bhutto rigged the elections. It's thought the alliance might boycott elections on Thursday (10 March) for Pakistan's four provincial assemblies.
REPORTER: TOM MANGOLD
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is heading for a landslide victory in Pakistan's general elections, among opposition charges that the elections were rigged. Bhutto has led the country since 1971 and he's the youngest of the top Asian leaders. The elections were held on Monday (7 March) and shortly before polling, Prime Minister spoke to Tom Mangold of the BBC's Panorama programme. Mangold had been following the pre-election rallies.