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Sharif assures support to Zardari

world Updated: Sep 08, 2008 15:13 IST

AFP
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Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif met president-elect Asif Ali Zardari on Monday to congratulate him on his election victory and pledge support in tackling the country's problems, officials said.

Sharif led a delegation of top leaders of his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party at the meeting held at Prime Minister's House.

"Sharif's basic aim was to personally extend felicitations to Zardari on his election as president," party spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told AFP.

"He also assured support to Zardari in strengthening the democratic set up in the country," Farooq said.

Zardari is under pressure from the opposition to reverse controversial constitutional changes made by Pervez Musharraf, which give him the right to dismiss parliament, as well as make key military and judicial appointments.

Sharif's party has already demanded that Zardari resign as co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which won general elections in February.

Sharif quit the country's coalition government late last month over differences with Zardari on the reinstatement of judges sacked by former president Musharraf last year.

The split came one week after Musharraf resigned under threat of impeachment.

Sharif's close aide and former minister Ahsan Iqbal said Zardari expressed his desire that Sharif would rejoin the government but he declined to say if his party would continue to play the role of a constructive opposition.

"We are in the opposition but we don't want to weaken the system," Iqbal said. "We will play a positive role in helping the government steer the country out of economic crisis and extremism and terrorism," he added.

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