Sharif rules out becoming Pak PM under Musharraf

November 26th, 2007 - 10:03 pm ICT by admin  

Lahore, Nov 26 (ANI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Nawaz Sharif on Monday categorically rejected the possibility of his becoming the country’s premier under President General Pervez Musharraf, even as he filed nomination papers to contest in the January polls today.
Refuting reports of his secret understanding with Musharraf that paved his return to his home country, Sharif said, “I will never strike any deal with a dictator. However, my deal will be with you.”
He said that the General wanted to prevent his return once again after the latter huddled him to Jeddah earlier this year from Islamabad airport, and added that his homecoming became possible only for the support that he received from Saudi monarch King Abdullah.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the state of emergency in the country that was invoked on November 3 by Musharraf, Sharif criticised the General for failing to maintain law and order in the country.
“The opposition is not solely responsible for maintenance of peace but the government also holds the responsibility,” he said adding, “We want peaceful elections not disturbances.”
He also demanded for the restoration of former judges in the Supreme Court and provincial courts, lifting the gag order given to media, and the release of all political detainees.
”We don’t want to boycott elections, but if you push someone to the wall … what options are left?” he said.
He informed that a meeting of All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) would be held on November 29, where all political parties would unanimously decide on the issue of participating in the January 8 general elections. Meanwhile, The News reported from Rawalpindi that Sharif has filed his nomination papers to take part in the general elections on a day when his once bitter arch-rival and leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto also filed her nomination papers.
Pakistan’s Interim Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan today said that the government would not arrest Sharif, who is still facing corruption charges.
“I do not think so. He had gone away with some agreement with the Saudi government and has come back with some understanding or agreement with the same government,” The News quoted Khan, as saying.
Sharif returned to Lahore on Sunday evening, eight years after Musharraf, who toppled his government in a bloodless coup in 1999, sent him to exile.
His attempt to return to Pakistan on September 10 this year failed as the Musharraf regime first detained him under several graft charges pending against him, and then huddled him to Jeddah within hours of his landing at the Islamabad airport.
This time however, a special plane Boeing777 carried him and his family members from the holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia to Lahore, amidst a sea of his supporters cheering him at the airport.
Sharif was accompanied with his wife Kulsoom, brother Shahbaz Sharif and other family members. (ANI)

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