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No Sharif or Bhutto for Pak polls: Musharraf

The president said Sharif would be sent back to Jeddah as soon as he lands and Bhutto would be made to stand trial if she came back.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 15:23 IST

It is now out in the open. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said that neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif will be allowed to contest the 2007 general elections.

Establishing this during his interview with television channel NDTV, Musharraf said Sharif would be sent back to Jeddah, his home in exile, as soon as he lands, and Bhutto would be made to stand trial if she landed in Pakistan.

"Both of them are convicted actually. One of them has gone out for 10 years for an agreement, by himself. And the other is out since.

If he (Sharif) comes, he will be sent back to Saudi Arabia. He is on a 10-year agreement. He will go straight back. Like his brother came, went back there.

So he will be sent back to Saudi Arabia. If she comes, there are trials and cases against (her)," Musharraf said.

The Pakistan President also ruled out the possibility of him giving up his uniform before the elections in November 2007, but was unsure of the legal position on it after that.

"The Constitution allows me to hold it (the uniform) till 2007, so I will hold it," said Musharraf, adding that it was a key decision (whether to wear it or not to wear it) that he had to take

He again reiterated that his decision to wear the uniform was explicitly dictated by the needs of Pakistan, which was essentially one of securing its sovereignty and unity.

He confirmed that the elections would be held anytime between November 2007 and January 2008, and hoped that moderate forces would emerge victorious in the polls.

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 14:29 IST