ISLAMABAD, Feb 25: Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has asked the United States to come up with a clear definition of the global war on terrorism.
Addressing at a joint Press conference with Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed at the latter’s residence, Mr Sharif said: “So far the war on terrorism has not been clearly defined to make it acceptable for everyone and we would like that this war should not be fought with the gun alone and the option of dialogue should also be used.”
Mr Sharif had been asked whether the new coalition government, of which his party may be an active partner, would continue the policy of supporting the US-led so-called war on terror.
He avoided answering a question about PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s statement that the war on terror would be continued as had been repeatedly stated by Ms Benazir Bhutto.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that the APDM would extend full cooperation to the new coalition government to give it a chance to implement its agenda for which the people had voted these parties to power.
“We boycotted the elections because in our view any election under an illegitimately elected president was illegal and unconstitutional, but we have decided to give up our agitation for the sake of restoration of democracy in the country.
The PML-N leader said nothing when his attention was drawn towards PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim’s statement that the new government would work with President Musharraf instead of impeaching him because he (Mr Musharraf) had been elected by the previous assembly.
Mr Sharif said that the new government should first reinstate the deposed judges so that they could decide about the eligibility of President Musharraf to run for the presidency.
When asked how would the new coalition government get rid of President Musharraf, he said: “We want restoration of the deposed judges as we think Musharraf is an unconstitutional and illegal president.”
He said that a joint meeting of Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Awami National Party and other groups would be held on Wednesday to discuss the issue of President Musharraf.
Also on Monday, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson called on Mr Sharif at the Frontier House and congratulated on the victory of his party in the elections.
“Through the electoral process, the Pakistani people have expressed their views and we respect their choices,” Ambassador Patterson said. “We are ready to work with whatever coalition is formed. It is up to those elected to form a government.”
During her first meeting with Mr Sharif after the elections, the US ambassador had reiterated President Bush’s commitment to democracy in Pakistan.
She also informed him about the “shared interests of the US with Pakistan” and continuing US economic assistance and military cooperation.