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Nawaz Sharif claims he can still return to Pak

The former Prime Minister was sent on an exile to Saudi Arabia after his ouster under a deal with government.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 18:52 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has claimed that he still had an option of returning to Pakistan by striking a deal with the government of President Pervez Musharraf.

"I still have an offer from the military that if I accept the Legal Framework Order, the 17th constitutional amendment and General Musharraf as President, I may return to Pakistan through a special plane and enjoy freedom of all sorts," Sharif was quoted by his Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party as saying.

"But I will not do so as long as I am alive," Sharif added.

Sharif also said "he had no regrets over his October 12, 1999 decision to prematurely retire Musharraf (as Army chief) and elevate Lt Gen Ziauddin to the rank," the Daily Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

That decision prompted a coup by Musharraf, which led to Sharif's ouster from power.

The former Premier said he "is paying the price for his commitment to democracy, Pakistan and the constitution."

He also regretted that AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, was declared a "criminal" after his involvement in proliferation of nuclear technology came to light.

Sharif claimed that global powers were interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs and its security was "under threat," the paper reported.

About military operations in Balochistan, he said it was "a result of coercive and unwise policies of the government."

Sharif who was sent on exile to Saudi Arabia after his ouster under a deal with government, said that provincial harmony and national integrity were weakening.

According to a PML-N spokesman, Sharif would be travelling to Britain tomorrow by a Saudi plane.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 15:29 IST