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Nawaz Sharif rejects Zardari's offer to review SC ban

Pakistan was set for a bruising showdown with opposition leader Nawaz Sharif rejecting President Zardari's olive branch on seeking a review of a SC verdict barring him and his brother from contesting elections, saying a lawyers' stir for reinstating the judges sacked in 2007 would go ahead nonetheless.audioPodcast of GEO TV Managing Director

world Updated: Mar 15, 2009 02:23 IST

Under pressure from the US and amid an escalating political standoff at home, the Pakistan government decided to challenge the disqualification of PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother from contesting polls, in a move seen as an attempt to defuse the crisis, but the opposition party rejected the move.

On a day of hectic developments, in what looked like a compromise with its estranged ally, the government of President Asif Ali Zardari decided to move to Supreme Court with a review petition challenging the apex court's decision barring the Sharif brothers from contesting elections and holding public offices.

Shahbaz was unseated as the chief minister of Punjab province and Governor's rule was imposed there by the Zardari government.

The government's package of concessions to main Nawaz Sharif came in the wake of a telephone call from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Zardari when she told him that Washington wanted to see stability and democracy strengthened in Pakistan.

The Supreme Court had also barred the Sharif brothers from holding public offices.

However, PML (N) spokesman Siddiq Al Farooq rejected the decision by the government to file the review petition saying his party did not recognize the courts which were established by Pervez Musharraf and are 'unconstitutional'.

First Published: Mar 14, 2009 21:30 IST