'Goodbye, Musharraf sahab': Nawaz Sharif | world | Hindustan Times
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'Goodbye, Musharraf sahab': Nawaz Sharif

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif says one of his top priorities would be to rid Pakistan of "dictatorship".

world Updated: Feb 26, 2008 21:18 IST

Ruling out indemnity for "illegal steps" taken by President Pervez Musharraf during the emergency rule last year, former Pakistan premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said one of his top priorities would be to rid the country of "dictatorship".

He asked the former military ruler to quit as President and said there would be no indemnity for "illegal and unconstitutional steps" taken by him during emergency.

Sharif said his PML-N party would not compromise on reinstating judges deposed by Musharraf or on removing amendments made to the Constitution by the President.

Asked about comments by US officials that they would continue to work with Musharraf, Sharif told a news conference in Lahore: "(US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice may have made statements in her personal capacity. I believe the ground realities have changed and the people of Pakistan have given their verdict, which has only one meaning goodbye, Musharraf sahab."

A joint meeting of newly elected Parliamentarians of the PML-N, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Awami National Party to be held in Islamabad on Wednesday would show Musharraf that these parties have a two-thirds majority in new Parliament and there should be no delay in convening a session of the National Assembly, he said.

"It will be one of my top priorities to rid the country of dictatorship and end the military's role in politics," Sharif said after a meeting of the PML-N unanimously elected his brother Shahbaz Sharif the head of its parliamentary party in the Punjab provincial assembly.

The status of Pakistan as a sovereign state has been compromised by military dictatorship and the PML-N will ensure the supremacy of Parliament, he said.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the PML-N, which emerged as largest groups in last week's general election, have agreed to work together to form a government at the centre. PML-N leaders on Tuesday said they would support the PPP unconditionally and would not seek any berth in the federal cabinet.

"The government at the centre will not be ours but we will offer full support to the government of the PPP," Sharif said, adding that there were "no differences" with the PPP.

The judiciary, after the deposed judges were reinstated, would decide whether Musharraf's re-election in uniform was valid, he said. Sharif also rejected the possibility of talks with the PML-Q, which backs Musharraf.

Sharif admitted that the new federal government will face many challenges but it will show determination to deal with the situation. "Pakistan has become ungovernable. Running a government and taking things forward is not an easy task. The problems of the people are very serious and it will be a difficult task to resolve them," he said.

The PML-N's top leadership said the party was in a strong position to form government in Punjab as the number of its elected representatives in the provincial assembly had gone up to 151 with 26 independent candidates joining it today.