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Nawaz sets terms for 'reconciliation'

The former PM can consider any official initiative for a "grand national reconciliation", if Musharraf says he will not contest.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2007 03:28 IST

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his willingness to consider any official initiative for a "grand national reconciliation", if President Pervez Musharraf were to make it clear that he is not a candidate for any post.

"He should allow a level playing field and invite everybody to come back home to sit across the table and resolve all matters among themselves," said the PML-N leader soon after the Supreme Court in Islamabad ruled that Sharif could return home from a forced exile.

The former premier told the Geo News channel that he was ready to sit with Musharraf in a room along with other political leaders to achieve "national reconciliation". But, he said, Musharraf should first declare that he would not be a candidate for any post in the government.

"I think these political parties have the ability to take decisions by themselves, have the ability to carve out the future course of things; we dont have to depend on any military dictator to show us the way," Sharif was quoted as saying by the Dawn daily in a report from London.

He said Musharraf was not eligible to contest for the presidents office, with or without uniform, "because there is no place for a dictator in democracy".

When asked if like Benazir Bhutto he would also like to share power with Musharraf under an interim arrangement, the exiled former premier said dictatorship and democracy were two opposite things. "How can democrats share power with dictators?"

While refusing to set a firm date for his return, the former premier, accompanied by his brother Shahbaz Sharif at a press conference in London, promised to go home soon and lead his party in the forthcoming general elections.