Musharraf back from Riyadh without meeting Sharif

November 21st, 2007 - 11:16 am ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Nov 21 (ANI): The reported meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and former premier Nawaz Sharif at the latters exile home in Jeddah could not take place, as the General returned back to Pakistan cutting short his visit to Saudi Arabia after performing Umra.
Sources said that Musharraf ended his talks with Saudi King Abdullah and decided to return to Islamabad without proceeding with the rest of his schedule.
Speculations that Musharraf might be meeting the Sharif proved to be unfounded as no meeting could be arranged between the two leaders.
Musharraf called off the rest of his visit to Medina Munawarah where he had to offer Salam at Roza-e-Rasool (Peace be upon him).
Sources said Sharif maintaining his hard stance towards the rulers declined to meet Musharraf or any of his envoys.
Sharif informed highly placed members of the royal family that his position was ‘non-negotiable’ with regard to his and his party’s disposition towards the Musharraf regime.
Diplomatic sources revealed that Sharif plainly conveyed to his hosts that he would not unilaterally order his party to take part in the general elections if the conditions he has already spelled out were not met.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdul Aziz bin Al-Saood and Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Mukran bin Abdul Aziz had been frequently meeting with Sharif ever since he was forcibly deported to Saudi Arabia on September 10, sources claimed.
They met him again early this week and discussed the overall situation and the circumstances in which he could make a return journey to home, The News quoted sources, as saying.
Sharif has reportedly told the royal interlocutors that his party would not accept elections under Musharraf.
Sources said that ISI Chief Lt. General Nadeem Taj is the only noteworthy high official who accompanied Musharraf to Saudi Arabia.
Taj had been in discussions with the leaders in exile including Benazir Bhutto and Sharif directly or indirectly in recent months, they added.
He had detailed discussions with his Saudi counterpart Prince Mukran bin Abdul Aziz separately. Foreign Minister Saudul Faisal was also present on the occasion.
A high level Saudi delegation could be expected to come to Pakistan for further consultations in a couple of days, provided progress was achieved, the sources hinted.
Earlier, officials said that Saudi authorities were trying to arrange a meeting between Musharraf and Sharif at the latters exile home in Jeddah.
A senior Pakistan Government official said before Musharrafs departure to Saudi Arabia “no meeting with Sharif is on the agenda”.
Musharraf arrived in Riyadh for a state visit and met King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia.
A foreign news agency quoted an official in Musharrafs office as saying that Musharraf went to Saudi Arabia because he wanted to persuade them to refrain Sharif from coming back now.
A Pakistani diplomatic source said that Musharraf wants Saudi Arabia to put pressure on Sharif to “refrain from carrying out any political activity and talking to the press about the situation in Pakistan.” (ANI)

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