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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

'I can take on Musharraf and his army'

Kulsum Sharif, who will be in Pakistan soon after Ramzan to lead the movement for democracy, says she is ready to face Musharraf, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Sep 14, 2007 20:37 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times

Kulsum Sharif will be in Pakistan soon after Ramzan to lead the movement for democracy. "I'm a lone, defenceless woman," said Nawaz Sharif's wife, "but I can take on Pervez Musharraf and his entire army."

All ready to forsake her sprawling, luxurious apartment in London's Park Lane for the heat and dust of political battle in Pakistan, she declared, "I am not afraid of Musharraf. It is he who is afraid of us. If we are anywhere in the country, he spends sleepless nights."

On Benazir Bhutto, she remained circumspect. She said she had "much regard" for Bhutto and refused to comment on Bhutto's talks with Musharraf. "I cannot comment on someone else's plans and policies."

Would her agitation continue even if Bhutto became prime minister? She refused to consider such a possibility. "The surveys say Nawaz Sharif's popularity is very high," she said.

Bhutto's party spokesperson had condemned the deportation of Nawaz Sharif — for a second time to Saudi Arabia — but criticised Sharif too for not first trying to talk to Musharraf before deciding to set off for Islamabad. "Nawaz had said that the President should call all parties and discuss how to restore democracy. But there was no response. What else could we do but try to return?" she queried.

She has no idea why the Saudis involved themselves in the deportation of Sharif. "The Saudis have always been reluctant to interfere in the affairs of another state. Even when their intermediaries came with the suggestion that Sharif should go to Saudi Arabia, the written agreement drawn up said no one should divulge the role the Saudi King had played," she recalled. "I do not know why this time they were so openly involved."

She explains away the absence of any major protests after Sharif's unceremonious second deportation to the stranglehold of the army. She is confident that the Supreme Court will declare the deportation illegal but, "Musharraf will not heed it. He does not consider Supreme Court of any value."

Will she become PM if her party wins? "No. There are many other able politicians. Shahbaz (Nawaz Sharif's brother) can be the next PM."

First Published: Sep 14, 2007 20:29 IST

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