Sharif accuses Zardari of leading Pak to mid-term polls

With his supporters protesting on the streets for the third-day today, Opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said President Asif Ali Zardari is leading Pakistan towards a mid-term election after violating agreements aimed at ushering in democracy in the country.
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Updated on Feb 28, 2009 05:23 PM IST
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PTI | By, Islamabad

With his supporters protesting on the streets for the third-day on Saturday, Opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said President Asif Ali Zardari is leading Pakistan towards a mid-term election after violating agreements aimed at ushering in democracy in the country.

"Zardari intends to take the nation towards a mid-term election," Sharif told Geo News channel in the wake of a Supreme Court order disqualifying him and his brother, former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, from holding elected office.

Sharif said Zardari had violated agreements on various issues and there could be "a democratic revolution" in Pakistan as it is the "need of the hour".

The former premier, who has held Zardari responsible for influencing the apex court's order, said the President should carry forward the legacy of his late wife, former Pakistan People's Party chief Benazir Bhutto, and not that of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

"No third force can come into power if the government shows responsibility. I will not come in Zardari's way if he restores the (deposed) judges today," he said, referring to the judges who were sacked during the 2007 emergency by Musharraf.

Sharif also spewed venom against Zardari while addressing a meeting of PML-N parliamentarians yesterday. "Not only the PML-N, but the people of Pakistan will suffer due to Zardari's cunning moves," he said. Zardari had humiliated the PPP's mandate and was damaging its credibility, he added.

An alliance between the PML-N and PPP broke up last year after Sharif accused Zardari of going back on promises to reinstate the deposed judges. Sharif said the only reason the deposed judges are not being reinstated is the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a controversial law passed by Musharraf to scrap graft cases against Bhutto and Zardari.

Reports have suggested that deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry could repeal the NRO if he is reinstated.

Sharif said the doors have not been closed for contacting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. He denied having called for a civil disobedience movement following the imposition of Governor's Rule in Punjab by the President.

"I have not made any announcement regarding civil disobedience nor has any decision been made in this regard."

Replying to a question on how he would react to any reconciliatory move by the PPP, he said reconciliation comes about on the basis of principles or ideologies while the ruling party had made many promises in the past with no intention of fulfilling them. "How can one trust anyone in such a case?" he asked.

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