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Try Musharraf for treason: Sharif

The former Pakistan PM says Musharraf should be tried on treason charges and not allowed any safe exit, reports Kamal Siddiqi.

world Updated: May 29, 2008 00:11 IST
Kamal Siddiqi & Agencies

Former Pakistan prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has demanded that President Musharraf be tried on treason charges and not allowed any safe exit from the country.

Sharif said Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Asif Zardari had given him assurance a day earlier that President Musharraf would be removed from his office very soon. "But we will not rest till he is," he added.

Addressing party workers at an auditorium in Lahore on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of Youm-e-Takbeer, the day when Pakistan exploded its nuclear devices in 1999, Sharif said the determination showed in building the bomb was once again needed. "This time to get rid of the man occupying the army house," he said.

Sharif said while he could forgive Musharraf for most things but not for letting the country's economic conditions deteriorate.

“We are moving towards a crisis. The poor are fed up and are willing to stand up and fight,” said Sharif.

Nawaz said his party will not take dictation for Washington and “decisions should be made in Islamabad”.

He said despite repeated promises, Zardari had not delivered on the two fronts of ousting President Musharraf and reinstating the sacked judges.

After the 1999 blasts, Sharif said, Pakistan's stature received a shot in the arm. "Mr Vaypayee came to Lahore and complimented us. Our relations with India improved. We were standing tall when the commando general took over," he said. Dozens of Islamists also marked the anniversary by rallying for an end to the house arrest of the man considered the father of the country's bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan.

“Abdul Qadeer Khan is the symbol of Pakistan's honor, and God willing, he will become the president of Pakistan,” said Mian Aslam, a former lawmaker from an Islamist party.