Pakistan opposition leader Bhutto promises to fight Islamic extremists

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday accused President Pervez Musharraf of failing to stop the spread of Islamic militants and promised to crack down on the groups if she wins next month's parliamentary election. Bhutto spoke to about 4,000 supporters in the central city of Lodhran as the campaign for the January 8 poll intensified. The poll is seen as crucial to restoring democracy after a six-week state of emergency accompanied by a crackdown on the independent judiciary and perceived government opponents. The election will also have deep implications for the future of former army chief Musharraf's administration, which is seen as a key US ally in the war on terror. Bhutto, a former prime minister who returned from exile to lead her opposition party in the poll, said extremism and terror flourished across the country since Musharraf seized power eight years ago in a military coup.