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Musharraf should leave office: Sharif

The ex-Pak premier says if he and his brother had not been kept out of polls they would have shown him the door.

world Updated: Feb 23, 2008 10:18 IST

Former premier Nawaz Sharif, whose PML-N party will be part of Pakistan's ruling coalition, on Friday said President Pervez Musharraf should respect the nation's mandate in the general election and leave office.

The PML-Q, which backs Musharraf, was routed in Monday's general election and the Pakistan Peoples Party and PML-N on Thursday said they would form a coalition government after emerging the two largest parties in the National Assembly.

"Keeping in view the public mandate, President Musharraf should leave office immediately with grace," Sharif, who was deposed by the military ruler in a bloodless coup in 1999, told a gathering of his supporters at Mansehra in the North West Frontier Province.

Sharif said if he and his brother, former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, had not been kept out of the elections, the PML-N's position would have been stronger and they "would have shown Musharraf the door".

The election results also showed that the 160 million people of Pakistan "do not want US influence in the country", Sharif said. He vowed to run the country according to the aspirations of the people and not at the wishes of the US.

Sharif, who travelled to Mansehra to offer condolences to his son-in-law Mohammad Safdar on the death of his mother, met the envoys of Britain and France earlier in the day in Islamabad.

He said he had entered into an alliance with the PPP to work for the reinstatement of judges deposed during last year's emergency and the new government would not function according to wishes of a dictator.

A real democracy would be established in line with the aspirations of the people and peace and development could be achieved after restoring the constitution of 1973 in its true spirit, Sharif said.