In a bid to avert a major political crisis, Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), an important ally of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's government, on Tuesday held an emergency meeting with Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader Asif Zardari.
The two main political parties are on a collision course over the issue of the reinstatement of sacked judges, a key demand of the PML-N party.
On Monday, in an interview with a local TV channel, Asif Zardari stated that the Murree Declaration, in which both parties had agreed to reinstate the sacked judiciary members within 30 days of swearing-in of the parliament, was “a political statement”. He said that the agreement "could be interpreted in different ways."
Terming the decision to reinstate the sacked judges as “a corner stone of his party's political agenda”, PML-N party spokesman Siddiq Ul Farooq said there could be no compromise on this.
“The PML-N would prefer to withdraw from the present government rather than compromise on this issue,” said Farooq.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif has said the 30-day deadline could be extended. “But the issue was a very important one and cannot not be swept under the carpet. We cannot compromise on what we had agreed on,” said Sharof.
Meetings between Zardari and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Mian Nawaz Sharif and a PML-N leader, have been going on for a quite time now.