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'PML-N to keep alliance with PPP intact'

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif says his party will keep its alliance with the PPP intact despite disappointment over the government's failure to fulfil promises to reinstate judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf.

world Updated: Jul 03, 2008 20:52 IST

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said his party will keep its alliance with the ruling PPP intact despite disappointment over the government's failure to fulfil promises to reinstate judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif said the government also did not consult his party, a key partner in the ruling coalition, before taking crucial decisions like launching an operation against militants in the tribal belt and increasing the prices of gas and petroleum products.

The "first item on the agenda" of the coalition formed by the PML-N and Pakistan People's Party is reinstating judges deposed by Musharraf during last year's emergency, Sharif told reporters at Islamabad airport before leaving for London.

"Both myself and (PPP co-chairman) Asif Ali Zardari gave a commitment before the nation that we will reinstate the (deposed) judgesThis commitment has not been fulfilled. It is a very sad state of affairs," the former premier said.

"So we are a little dismayed and disappointed on that. Yet we decided to stay with the government. We pulled out our ministers from the cabinet. It was a big sacrifice but this sacrifice was made for a larger cause."

The PML-N withdrew its ministers out of the cabinet in May after the government failed to meet two self-imposed deadlines for reinstating the deposed judges. Sources have indicated that the PML-N could decide on continuing its alliance with the PPP following a "make or break" meeting between Sharif and Zardari this month.

Sharif said there were several other items on the agenda of the coalition that were yet to be fulfilled. These included the future of Musharraf and the restoration of the constitution of 1973.