Bhutto 'ultimatum to Musharraf'
By Barbara Plett
BBC News, Islamabad
Could Benazir Bhutto co-operate with a Musharraf government?
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has given President Musharraf 48 hours to respond to her demands for a power-sharing deal, media reports say.
The embattled military ruler is seeking support for presidential elections that would give him another five-year term.
But his options have narrowed after a series of Supreme Court decisions.
Ms Bhutto wants a clear statement the general will resign as army chief of staff before year end, some say before a presidential vote due in the autumn.
She also wants a pledge to remove legal obstacles currently preventing her from becoming prime minister.
Until now Gen Musharraf has said he will abide by the constitution when it comes to his dual role as president and army chief.
Some say this means he will take off his uniform by year's end.
But Ms Bhutto wants a public declaration. So why has she upped the ante now?
Analysts say she was alarmed by the Supreme Court's decision last week allowing the exiled opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, to return to Pakistan, perhaps as early as next month.
Mr Sharif has gained much support for opposing army rule and vowing to force President Musharraf out of office.
Ms Bhutto on the other hand has been losing public support by negotiating with the general.
It is not clear whether the military leader can accept her demands.
At the moment he has enough votes in parliament to win another five-year term.
But there are growing defections from the ruling party and crucially, the Supreme Court might rule that his re-election from existing assemblies is unconstitutional.