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Sharif-led PML-N meets to decide on coalition fate

Amidst growing divisions in Pakistan's fragile ruling coalition, former premier Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N's top leaders are meeting today to decide on pulling out of the alliance led by the PPP.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2008 14:27 IST

Amidst growing divisions in Pakistan's fragile ruling coalition, former premier Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N's top leaders are meeting on Monday to decide on pulling out of the alliance led by the PPP.

The meeting of the PML-N's central working committee, to be chaired by Sharif, is being held in the wake of comments by top party leaders accusing the Pakistan People's Party of not honouring commitments to reinstate judges sacked during last year's emergency by former President Pervez Musharraf.

"There is no need (for the PML-N) to be part of the coalition government if one party is taking decisions unilaterally," PML-N spokesman Siddique-ul-Farooq said.

The PML-N on Sunday boycotted a meeting of a committee that was to draft a parliamentary resolution for restoring the deposed judges after PPP co-chairman refused to commit himself to Sharif's deadline for completing the process by today. Zardari has said that the judges will be reinstated but that he could not set a timeframe for this.

The PML-N has been angered by Zardari's comments that the PPP's agreements and declarations with the party on restoring the judges could be "altered or modified" to suit the evolving political scenario. Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that the latest pact between the two parties was signed by Zardari and Sharif before the holy Quran.

The PML-N has also been irked by the PPP's move to nominate Zardari as its candidate for next month's presidential polls without the scrapping of the President's controversial powers to dissolve parliament and dismiss the prime minister.

The PML-N said it had an agreement with the PPP that said the latter could nominate a presidential candidate only if these powers were repealed through a constitutional amendment.