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Sharif acts tough, wants sacked judges restored by Monday
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August 23, 2008 16:59 IST

Taking a tough stand, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif on Saturday cut short by two days the Wednesday deadline for restoration of the deposed judges and linked the issue to his party's support to Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari's candidature in presidential polls in Pakistan.

"It will take Parliament 10 minutes to pass a resolution for reinstatement of deposed judges after which an Executive Order should be issued by the Prime Minister in the evening," the former prime minister told media persons in Lahore [Images] after a meeting with PPP leaders at his residence.

Sharif advanced to Monday the deadline set for Wednesday by him for restoration of the judges sacked during last year's emergency rule by former President Pervez Musharraf [Images], who resigned from the post early this week.

All the deposed judges should now be reinstated by Monday in view of the announcement of the presidential election on September six, he said.

Sharif conditioned his party's support to candidature of Zardari for the presidential polls with the repeal of the 17th amendment empowering a President to dissolve Parliament and dismiss an elected Premier as well as with the restoration of deposed judges.

"We have asked PPP to inform us by tonight whether the judges will be reinstated by Monday," Sharif was quoted as saying by ARY One channel, adding that his party would announce its strategy after PPP response.

His remarks came after a three-member PPP delegation led by senior leader Raza Rabbani met Sharif at his at his Raiwind farm house residence here and sought his support for Zardari's candidature for the post of President.

The PPP and PML-N had signed two pacts on August 6 and 7, which said the judges should be restored within 24 hours of Musharraf's ouster, Sharif said, adding the two parties were committed to those agreements.

About a presidential candidate, Sharif said if controversial presidential powers to dissolve Parliament and dismiss Premier are done away with before the September 6 polls for the post, the PPP can nominate its candidate.

Otherwise, he said his party would favour a national figure, removed from party politics and chosen by consensus.

Sharif said that his party had no desire to nominate its candidate for the Presidential slot.

"Being a major partner of the coalition, PML-N is justified to ask for a major slot in government as all the major offices have been captured by PPP.

"But we have no desire to rule, we just want PPP to fulfil the promises which it made with us and the nation," he was quoted as saying.

Rabbani said Sharif told the PPP delegation that he would discuss the issue of support to Zardari's candidature within his PML-N party before taking any decision.

When asked about the deadline set by Sharif for restoration of judges, he did not give a direct reply and said a joint committee of PPP and PML-N has been formed for discussing a resolution to be brought in Parliament.

The committee will meet tomorrow and a day after to discuss the issue, Rabbani said.

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