Sharif’s seven commandments for meeting Musharraf

November 20th, 2007 - 2:45 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Nov 20 (ANI): Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif has refused to meet President General Pervez Musharraf during the latters visit to Riyadh, and has laid down seven pre-requisites for meeting him.
In an interview to the Voice of America, Sharif said his demands included an immediate end to emergency and the annulment of the November 3 Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), besides Musharrafs immediate retirement from the army and restoration of all the deposed judges with honour and dignity.
Sharif, who has been in exile for the last eight years since Musharraf deposed him in a bloodless coup in October 1999, also revealed that Musharraf had been sending him feelers for the past few months. He claimed that the General had expressed a desire to meet him on at least three occasions, twice during the fasting month of Ramazan, and once afterward.
“Thrice he tried to contact me, approach me in the past two months, saying that he wants to come here in Jeddah. I regretted it, I said no, it will not serve any purpose, Sharif said.
Sharif said that he declined to meet Musharraf every time since “it would lead to speculations and misperceptions.”
“If the General wants national reconciliation, he must meet certain conditions after which a meeting could be held with the leadership of the entire Opposition including the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by Benazir Bhutto, on a national agenda,” Sharif added.
Musharraf is reaching Riyadh today where he is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with King Abdullah. There are reports that Saudi Arabia is keen to bridge differences between Musharraf and Sharif.
During his three-day stay in Saudi Arabia, Musharraf is likely to visit Mecca, which is very close to Jeddah. With Benazir Bhutto announcing her intention of having no truck with Musharraf, he is now keen to bring Sharif onboard. Two of his key officials reportedly met Sharif last week.
On being asked about the conditions laid by him for talks with Musharraf, Sharif said, “It is a pre-requisite for gauging the intent. The administration is planning to set up military courts. The caretakers of the Generals choice have been put in place. How one can expect any purposeful dialogue.
The other conditions laid by Sharif are: Rescinding of October 6 presidential election, release of all detained lawyers, students, political workers and civil society activists, replacement of newly installed puppet caretakers with genuinely neutral governments with full powers, restoration of freedom of media, reconstitution of the Election Commission in consultation with all stake holders; and level playing field for all political parties in the elections.
“But I will never bow before a dictator, The Nation quoted Sharif, as saying. (ANI)

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