Sharif prepares to hit back at Musharraf | india | Hindustan Times
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Sharif prepares to hit back at Musharraf

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 15:40 IST
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Even as Pakistan's exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has chosen to duck personal attacks on him for the time being, he is busy preparing "an effective reply" to clear misconceptions raised in President Pervez Musharraf's memoir, In the Line of Fire.

The former prime minister does not plan to join issue directly with the president but has appointed two of his aides, one in London and another in Lahore, to address the media and clear misconceptions.

The two are busy compiling "an effective reply" based on the notes being prepared by Sharif, who got hold of the book, The Nation newspaper said in a report from London on Thursday.

"Instead of rushing to come out with a reply on the basis of the excerpts, he preferred to wait for the full text to give his side of the story and clear misconceptions the book might have given rise to," the newspaper said.

Responding to Musharraf is essential for Sharif, who in May this year signed an agreement with Benazir Bhutto, another deposed prime minister and political rival, and plans to return home to participate in the political process.

While attacking him on many counts, Musharraf has held fire on some issues pertaining to Sharif.

He refrained from giving details of the "deal" under which Sharif and his family were allowed to go to Saudi Arabia after being removed from power in a bloodless coup.

In another report in The Nation, filed from New York, Musharraf is quoted as saying that talking about the deal would go against the undertaking he had given to the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, who was keen that the details be kept secret.

Sharif could counter Musharraf on a patriotic platform, citing 'humiliation' of nuclear scientist AQ Khan, to appeal to the public at large.

"Nawaz wants to blast the general on the issue of Khan in view of his belief that the people of Pakistan are emotionally attached to the nuclear programme.

Nawaz feels that while writing about AQ Khan, the general had leaked a number of sensitive national secrets to the entire world," the report from London said.

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