LONDON, July 3 PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif has said that nobody should be allowed to hold the state at gunpoint and those who challenge the writ of the state should be dealt with sternly.

Mr Sharif, who is visiting the UK reportedly for his wife's medical check-ups, had a lengthy interaction here on Friday with leaders and workers of the PML-N as well as journalists.

When asked about his party's position about the ongoing military operation in Pakistan, he said “No one has any right to challenge the writ of the state. And those who do that should be dealt with sternly.”

Adding, he said, the frequent takeovers by the army had given rise to such militant trends in Pakistan.

Answering question he criticised what he called India's refusal to resume the composite dialogue.

“I may sound taking a pro-government position on this but the fact is that the state or the government had had nothing to do with what had happened in Mumbai last year. India needs to understand that and re-engage at the earliest with Pakistan so that the two countries could once again join hands for a peaceful resolution of their outstanding disputes in the larger interests of subcontinent's poor,” he declared.

He sounded very bitter when talking about the attitude of the PPP leadership and said it seemed to have forgotten all that was promised to the nation in the Charter of Democracy “which was signed by Shaheed Mohtarma after a great deal of deliberations lasting over two years”.

“The ruling party has even tried to legally block my re-entry into electoral politics and took the very same position in the so-called hijacking case against me as that of the dictator who had fabricated the whole canard,” he said.

Mr Sharif seemed rather puzzled over the delay in announcement of judgment in the hijacking case.

“I don't know why the judgment has been reserved for such a long time,” he added.

Answering another question, he said those who violated the Constitution should be made accountable for their actions.

He said the frequent army takeovers had brought the country to the current sorry pass. “As a result things have gone so bad that we seem to be doing nothing but talk of doomsday scenarios about Pakistan all the time. Even the foreigners who come to meet us only voice their concerns about continuing crisis in Pakistan.”

He said ambitious generals like Musharraf did not understand that with every coup that they staged they pushed the country further down the hole, “and when they finally call it a day after having messed up the country they run away to foreign lands to escape accountability”.

He blamed Musharraf for the massive loadshedding that the country is suffering these days. “He ruled the country for almost nine long years with dictatorial powers but failed to anticipate as simple a thing as the power needs of an expanding economy and increasing population. We had just a little over two years each time and look at our achievements on the ground. Motorway is one example.”

Responding to another question, he said nothing had changed since the ouster of the dictator.

“The powers that the dictator had gathered in his hands are still there in the office of the president.”

When pressed repeatedly, he said seemingly with a great deal of effort “If the people gave me the mandate to govern for a third time I would not shirk the responsibility.”

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