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October 28, 1999
Commonwealth laments lack of contact with Sharief
Visiting Commonwealth foreign ministers today expressed disappointment that they were unable to talk by telephone with ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief, despite assurances from the new army ruler.
"Despite assurances from General [Pervez] Musharraf that we could have telephone contact with Nawaz Sharief, this did not take place,'' the visiting team said in a closing statement.
"We were therefore unable to obtain any direct verification of his health and legal status," said the statement.
The statement was issued at the end of a two-day meeting to assess prospects for a return to civilian rule after the bloodless October 12 coup that deposed Sharief.
Sharief has not been seen in public since his overthrow. The military says he is in protective custody at an undisclosed location pending an investigation into his official and financial conduct during his 31 months in power.
Sources close to the ministers say they waited in an Islamabad hotel room for some time awaiting a call from Sharief after a meeting with Musharraf. But no contact was made.
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