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Sharif, Zardari to meet on Pakistan Govt formation

Former premier Nawaz Sharif invites PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the formation of a new Govt.A turbulent journey

world Updated: Feb 19, 2008 21:16 IST

Former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Monday said he would meet PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and leaders of other democratic forces soon to discuss the formation of a new government, hours after the two opposition parties emerged as the largest groups in Pakistan's Parliamentary polls.

"I invite everyone to sit together and rid Pakistan of dictatorship for all time," Sharif said. PML-N bagged 65 seats and became the second largest party after PPP, which bagged 85 seats out of 248 results announced so far.

"We will cooperate with (all democratic forces) and try to seek their cooperation...To accomplish this democratic agenda, all of us must unite on one common platform."

Sharif said he will meet Zardari on Thursday, while insisting that the deposed members of the superior judiciary should be reinstated so that they can decide on the legality of Pervez Musharraf's re-election as President in October last year.

"I have already discussed this matter with Mr Asif Zardari and I told him that Pakistan's judiciary's independence is very strongly linked with its restoration. It is dependent on the restoration of the judiciary. Unless the judges are restored, the judiciary cannot attain any independence," he said.

The two-time premier, who was deposed by Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999, said the PML-N did not accept the emergency imposed by the President last year or the sacking of the judges who had not endorsed the measure.

"The steps taken by Musharraf during the emergency will have to be rolled back," he asserted.

Musharraf sacked nearly 60 members of the superior judiciary during the emergency, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry and other judges who were hearing challenges to his re-election.