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June 30, 1999
Rumours said Sharief was on his way out
While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief was preparing to visit China, a rumour that former chief minister of the North-West Frontier Province Aftab Sherpao would become the care-taker prime minister was doing the rounds.
It all started when a section of the press reported a statement of former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan saying that the Nawaz Sharief government will soon be sent packing and that Sherpao would become the care-taker prime minister.
But why of all the people Sherpao? Is it because he belongs to the main opposition, Pakistan People's Party and has become a threat to party chairperson Benazir Bhutto? A few months ago, Bhutto removed him from the post of president of the NWFP unit of the PPP.
The latest issue of Newsline says that Sherpao visited Washington to establish contacts with the right people there, but could not succeed. In public, he has projected himself as Pakistan's elder statesman who favours peace.
In Pakistan, Sherpao emerged as a Pakhtun nationalist when he went all out to support the Awami National Party's demand for renaming NWFP as Pakhtunkhawa.
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