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'Sharif issue is Pak's internal matter'

Despite being contrary to the ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court, US feels deportation of former premier is an internal matter.

world Updated: Sep 11, 2007 12:07 IST

The United States has said the deportation of former premier Nawaz Sharif was contrary to the ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court, but insisted it was for Islamabad to resolve its internal matter.

"It's a matter for Pakistanis to resolve.... This agreement that was arrived at among the Pakistani government, Nawaz Sharif, his brother and the Saudi government -- we're not party to that. It's up to the parties involved to interpret that agreement as they will," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington.

".... I would note only as a factual matter that the Pakistani Supreme Court has made a judgment about this issue, and that the decision to deport Sharif runs contrary to that," he said, adding it was still a pending legal matter.

"So we're not going to have anything to say about it. But this is wholly, entirely a Pakistani issue to resolve."

McCormack refuted suggestions that the developments had anything to do with the presence of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Richard Boucher in Pakistan."

As a matter of fact, it's coincidence that the timing of this particular strategic dialogue takes place right now.

"This is something that had been scheduled prior to the political calendar, shall we say, that's unfolding now in Pakistan," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said those involved in the existing "political transition" in the country should work within the framework of the Pakistani law and insisted that the US' main interest was in seeing elections that are "free, fair and transparent, and consistent with Pakistani law and the Constitutions."