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October 13, 1999
Lahore-Delhi bus passengers welcome Sharif's sacking
Passengers on board the Lahore-New Delhi bus, which arrived at Wagah joint check post this morning, welcomed the sacking of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but cautioned that Pakistan may be in for tough times if democratic process was not restored soon.
The passengers were unanimous that Sharif had legalised corruption and led the country to bankruptcy. They, however, all agreed that the immediate task of the Pakistan's military chief should be to install a democratically elected government as soon as possible.
There was a visible sense of relief on the faces of the Indian passengers who had spent some anxious moments before the bus left Lahore.
Hafiz Rashid, a resident of Lahore, said under Nawaz Sharif's rule prices of essential commodities had gone through the roof and there was all round economic instability. ''We are going around with a begging bowl in our hand asking other countries to save us,'' Rashid lamented.
Rashid justified Sharif's sacking on the ground that he, in his capacity as the prime minister of Pakistan, was responsible for the Kargil misadventure. ''Look at the honour you gave your Kargil martyrs but in our country no one bothered about them....we even refused to take back the bodies of our dead soldiers,'' he said.
Mohammed Arif from Sialkot while agreeing with Rashid, added that after settling down Musharraf should make efforts for the restoration of a civil government. ''The army chief can, for the time being, install an interim civil government and when there is a degree of economic stability hold general elections.''
The passengers said that following the coup there was no tension in Lahore though the military did stage flag marches last night in some parts of the city.
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