Islamabad: Meeting for the first time in almost two months, PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif asked President Asif Ali Zardari to restore the deposed judges and repeal his controversial powers, including the authority to dissolve Parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister.
The former Prime Minister, during Saturday’s meeting over a dinner hosted by his estranged ally Mr. Zardari, also assured the latter of his cooperation in thwarting any attempt to destabilise Pakistan’s democratic set-up. Though there was no official word on the meeting, spokesmen for both the PML (N) and the ruling PPP said the two leaders discussed the overall political situation.
PML (N) sources said Mr. Sharif reminded Mr. Zardari of his promise to repeal the President’s controversial powers under the 17th Constitutional amendment. He also called for reinstatement of all judges deposed during last year’s emergency rule by the former President, Pervez Musharraf. Mr. Zardari reportedly told Mr. Sharif he would “bow before the will of Parliament” on the issue of his powers and would accept “whatever decision Parliament took” in this regard.
Mr. Zardari met Mr. Sharif after returning from an official visit to Saudi Arabia, creating an impression that he had done so on the insistence of the Saudi rulers who have very close relations with Mr. Sharif’s family. The Saudi government had hosted Mr. Sharif’s family when he went into exile after being deposed by General (retd.) Musharraf in 1999. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the meeting had no political agenda though the two leaders could have had “some talks on political subjects.” PML (N) spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said Mr. Sharif had presented his party’s views on the prevailing political situation to Mr. Zardari.
The PML (N) wanted Mr. Zardari to take steps to implement the Charter of Democracy signed by Mr. Sharif and late PPP chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, in 2006. The scrapping of 17th Constitutional amendment was a key point in the charter, said Mr. Iqbal.
He said it was a matter of concern that Pakistan was “still living under the system introduced by the military dictator Musharraf.” The PML (N) also wanted early implementation of the resolution on terrorism and security adopted during a special session of both houses of Parliament last month, he added. — PTI
6 months ago