ISLAMABAD, Dec 2, Reuter: Benazir Bhutto took office as Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday and promised to heal the wounds left from 11 years of military rule.

The first woman elected to govern Moslem nation was sworn in by acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan at a ceremony in Islamabad.

“I think it’s a great day for women, a great day for youth, a great day for Islam and above all a great day for Pakistan,” she told reporters afterwards.

Bhutto, 35, promised later in a televised address to the nation to free the press, television and radio, repeal any laws discriminating against women and release political prisoners.

Sitting before a portrait of her father, executed Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, she pledged to build memorials to “martyrs for democracy” and compensate people who suffered under the 11 year rule of General Mohammad Zia-Ul-Haa.

”We will heal the wounds, we will overcome our difficulties through tolerance, understanding and friendship,” she said.

Bhutto earlier in the day suffered a political setback when her main rival Nawaz Sharif won control of the provincial assembly in Punjab, the biggest of Pakistan’s four provinces.

Political analysts forecast a stormy relationship between the federal administration and the provincial government in Punjab, which has 55 of Pakistan’s 104 million people.

Article extracted from this publication >> December 9, 1988