ISLAMABAD, March 8: A crucial meeting between PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif will be held in Bhurban on Sunday to thrash out an agreement on a coalition government.

“Tomorrow I am meeting Asif Zardari in Bhurban and it will be the final session of talks,” Mr Sharif told a group of reporters at the Frontier House in Islamabad before leaving for Murree on Saturday.

Mr Sharif said that his party stood by its previous stand of not joining the federal cabinet in the coalition government. He further said that a decision on accepting the office of the National Assembly speaker would be taken at the Sunday meeting.

Answering a question about the reinstatement of judges, Mr Sharif said his party would abide by its commitments.

Mr Sharif said a split mandate notwithstanding, the nation had given a verdict against President Pervez Musharraf. He accused the president of not accepting the verdict.

“The people have given their verdict and (Mr) Musharraf is reluctant to accept it and trying to create hurdles.”

Mr Sharif said the Election commission had completed the process by issuing the notification of winning candidates and now there was no justification for any delay in convening the first session of the National Assembly.

In reply to a question about government formation in Punjab, Mr Sharif said Shahbaz Sharif would be the chief minister of Punjab and the party would nominate any person as chief minister for an interim period during which Shahbaz Sharif would contest a by-election.

FAZL MEETS ASIF: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari to discuss options for cooperation at the centre as well as in the Balochistan Assembly. He was reported to have promised to support PPP’s efforts to forms governments at the centre and in the provinces.

Mr Zardari also met MNAs-elect from Larkana, Sukkur, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions to finalise the name of prime minister.

According to a handout issued by PPP’s media office, all would-be legislators reposed full confidence in Mr Zardari over the nomination.

APNS TEAM: A delegation of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) called on Mr Zardari here during the day. The 30-member delegation was led by its president, Hameed Haroon.

Talking to the delegation, Mr Zardari said his party was committed to a free media and would strive for protecting its freedom. The party welcomed a strong and vibrant press to act as a check on government, he added.

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