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October 29, 1999
Sharief rejects new regime's offer to leave Pakistan: wife
Pakistan's new military rulers have asked ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharief to leave Pakistan and quit politics but he has refused, his wife said in remarks published today.
''We have been asked that we should leave the country and politics,'' Kulsoom Nawaz, in her first public appearance since the bloodless military coup of October 12, told women activists of Sharief's Pakistan Muslim League party.
''But we want to make it clear that we are sons of this soil,'' she said in an apparent rejection of the orders.
There was no immediate comment from the new government on Kulsoom Nawaz's remarks, which were published in local newspapers as a visiting team of Commonwealth ministers prepared to meet military ruler General Pervez Musharraf to discuss prospects for a return to democratic rule.
Kulsoom Nawaz told women party workers at the residence of her father, where she had been brought under tight security, late yesterday that Sharief had spoken to family members by telephone and that he was well and in good spirits.
Sharief, in protective custody since the military takeover, has not been seen in public and his whereabouts have not been disclosed by the government.
It was the first comment by Sharief's wife since the coup. She kept a very low profile during her husband's 31-month rule and was rarely seen in public.
Gen Musharraf has so far given no indication of the fate of Sharief, who is reported to be under investigation for corruption and tax evasion.
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