Gilani meets Sharif for fence-mending talks
Yousuf Raza Gilani met opposition PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif here for talks aimed at restoring political stability in Punjab and winning back the former ally with whom the ruling PPP was engaged in a tense stand-off recently over restoration of deposed judges.world Updated: Mar 22, 2009 14:42 IST
Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday met opposition PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif here for talks aimed at restoring political stability in Punjab and winning back the former ally with whom the ruling PPP was engaged in a tense stand-off recently over restoration of deposed judges.
Sources in the PPP and PML-N said the ending of Governor's Rule in Punjab and the restoration of the PML-N-led government in the politically crucial province are expected to figure in the meeting between Gilani and Sharif at the former Prime Minister's residence at Raiwind in Lahore.
It is their first meeting since the political crisis was defused on March 16 when the government acceded to PML-N's demand to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry and other judges sacked during the 2007 emergency rule by former President Pervez Musharraf.
Subsequently Sharif, who had thrown his weight behind the lawyers' long march for reinstatement of the deposed judges, called off the protest and Gilani said he would hold talks with all political parties, including the PML-N, to strengthen democracy in the country.
In recent weeks, Gilani has been perceived as moving closer to the PML-N at a time when his relations with PPP chief and President Asif Ali Zardari have come under strain. Gilani had urged Zardari to reinstate the deposed judges.
Gilani had also said he was opposed to the continuation of Governor's Rule in Punjab province, which was ruled by the PML-N till last month.
Zardari imposed Governor's rule in the province after the Supreme Court last month barred Sharif and his brother, former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, from contesting polls and holding public offices.
The federal government last week filed four petitions asking the apex court to review its verdict. It has also filed an application asking the apex court to suspend its verdict disqualifying the Sharif brothers from electoral politics till a final decision is delivered on the review petitions.