LONDON, July 15: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif proposes to have a ‘final word’ with PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari when the two meet later this month on what he described as a simple agenda to take the country out of its present crisis and put it on the road to progress and prosperity.
The first on the list of his eight-point agenda was rule of law, followed by independence of judiciary, restoration of deposed judges, blocking army intervention for all times to come, establishment of parliament’s supremacy, no to foreign dictation, accountability and institution of a treason case against Gen (retd) Musharraf.
Lest the ‘final word’ is mistaken for ‘final ultimatum’ to his coalition partner, Mr Sharif hastened to add that he wanted the coalition to continue and complete ‘this simple agenda’ and asked rather rhetorically, “what would happen to Pakistan if this agenda is not fulfilled?”
“Only God knows,” was his rhetorical answer.
Mr Sharif was speaking at a gathering of UK’s wing of the PML-N here on Tuesday. He did not specify the date or the venue of his proposed meeting with Mr Zardari.
He appeared to have accepted some kind of a fait accompli with regard to restoration of the deposed judges when he said that they would be restored, “if not today then in 2009 or even 2010, but rest assured they would be eventually restored, come what may.”
He said when he had met Mr Zardari after Feb 18 elections he invited the latter to “join hands with the PML-N to translate the mandate into a reality”.
“I told him, let us start implementing the Charter of Democracy, get rid of 17th Amendment, make Musharraf accountable for all the unconstitutional and illegal actions he had taken since October 12, 1999, and let us stop all unwanted wars against our own people.
“For all this I put no conditions. I told him that we do not want any share in the government and that we will support you without joining the government,” Mr Sharif recalled by way of explaining what had happened since the elections.
When Mr Zardari insisted that the PML-N join the government, Mr Sharif said, he told him that it was impossible because for one thing the party did not want to join the government before the judges were restored and, secondly, because no one from the PML-N wanted to be sworn in by Musharraf.
“However, when Zardari Sahib said that he would not form the government unless we joined them, I was reluctantly persuaded to accede to his wishes,” he added.
He said he and his party were extremely disappointed when Mr Zardari wriggled out of his promise made in the Bhurban Declaration by stating that the declaration was not a holy scripture.
He said despite all the setbacks his party would continue on its principled journey and “ultimately we will achieve our goals”.
He accused the intelligence agencies of having tried to destroy the PML-N and other genuine parties and craft in their place fake parties like the PML-Q and the MQM. “Have we set up these agencies for this — to destroy national politics?” he asked.