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No future for 'rejected' politicians: Musharraf

The President's dart was aimed at exiled former premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif who just joined hands to oust military rule.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 18:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

As exiled former premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif stepped up efforts to oust him, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has accused them of being "corrupt" and said they would not come to power again as there was no future for the "rejected" leaders.

There is no future for "rejected" and "corrupt" politicians, he said on Monday without naming anybody, a day after Bhutto and Sharif met in London and signed a 'Charter of Democracy' to fight the military rule in Pakistan besides pledging to return to the country for the elections next year.

Those involved in corruption in the past would not come to power again, Musharraf told a gathering of ruling politicians.

The corrupt politicians transferred national wealth to foreign banks and brought the country on the verge of economic crisis, he was quoted as saying by the Online news agency.

Musharraf, who has promised to hold the general elections after November 2007, said he was confident that people would not vote in favour of corrupt elements in the polls.

He, however, acknowledged that price hike and unemployment were the major problems the present government was facing.

"But the government is taking every possible step to control inflation and bring down unemployment ratio.

The federal government in collaboration with provincial governments will take necessary steps for overcoming the problems created by inflation," the President said.

Musharraf said the next general elections would be held in a transparent, fair and free manner and as per schedule.

In the past Musharraf consistently said he would not permit the return of Bhutto and Sharif from abroad to take part in politics.

Bhutto lives in self-exile fearing arrest in connection with corruption cases against her, while Sharif was exiled to Jeddah in 2001 and recently moved to London where he began rebuilding his Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party.

Sharif's brother Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the party, has termed the 'Charter of Democracy' signed by the two former prime ministers as a milestone for restoration of democracy in the country.

The charter would rule out army's role in national politics forever as the military rule had defaced the country's image before the world community, he told 'The Nation' daily in an interview.

He said that Generals had no right to overthrow any democratic government and restoration of democracy was the only way to resolve the country's political, social, educational and economic crisis.

Shahbaz maintained that PML-N and Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had shown their commitment to the people and signed an agreement, which would restore democracy in the country solving the problems of the people.

He, however, said the two parties may contest separately but would not accept any offer from the military rulers to join the government.

Shahbaz also expressed his dissatisfaction over the present election commission and claimed that it failed to hold free and fair polls in the past.

He said the present election commissioner could be an honest man but by-elections in different parts of the country had proved that he was unable to hold fair polls.

First Published: May 16, 2006 17:54 IST