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Chances of Pak's army takeover 'absolutely nil': Sharif

world Updated: Mar 12, 2009 16:54 IST
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Amid worsening political situation in Pakistan, former Premier Nawaz Sharif, who was overthrown in a military coup in 1999, has said the chances of an army takeover of the country are "absolutely nil".

Sharif, who has locked horns with President Asif Ali Zardari over the issue of reinstatement of sacked judges, said his PML-N party will go ahead with its long march for restoration of the justices despite a crackdown launched by authorities.

"Talks with President Zardari (are) possible only after he reinstates the judges as promised to us earlier," he told CNN-IBN.

"There is a massive credibility gap and trust deficit between Zardari and us. By offering talks, the government is only buying time. The government has not done anything to undo what the 'kangaroo' courts have done," he said.

Tensions between the former allies escalated after the Supreme Court recently barred Sharif and his brother Shahbaz from contesting polls and holding public offices, resulting in Shahbaz's removal as Chief Minister of Punjab province, where Governor's rule was also imposed.

"The President got the Supreme Court to make me and Shahbaz Sharif ineligible to contest elections and further went ahead to impose Governor's rule in Punjab when there was no breakdown of law and order in the state," the two-time former premier told the channel.