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Sunday, 3 July 2011


LAHORE, 2ND July, 2011: The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif) dropped the first hint on Saturday of its readiness to embrace the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in order to forge an anti-PPP alliance when Nawaz Sharif, the party chief, said “we will welcome the MQM into a grand political alliance to rid the nation of the present government”.

“The MQM has at last come to the conclusion that the government plays tricks with its allies on every occasion,” Mr Sharif said. “We will welcome all parties in a proposed grand anti-government alliance as it is the need of the hour to rid the nation of this government,” the former prime minister said while talking to reporters after a party meeting in Model Town.

Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s statement came amid the buzz in political circles that the Punjab chief minister was likely to meet MQM supremo Altaf Hussain during a week-long visit slated to begin on Sunday. A spokesman for the PML-N, however, scotched such speculations. “No meeting is scheduled between Shahbaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain in London,” the spokesman said.

During his conversation with reporters, Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N had signed the Charter of Democracy (CoD) with the People’s Party in the larger interest of the country and it would not allow the slogan of ‘reconciliation’ to come in the way of a struggle to remove the government. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, the PML-N’s secretary general, told Dawn that his party chief had decided to take the first step to realise its goal of a grand political alliance.

However, Mr.Jhagra added, the PML-N would not adopt or support any “undemocratic” way to oust the PPP-led government. “Resignations of PML-N legislators are also an option as we cannot give this government more time,” Mr Jhagra quoted Nawaz Sharif as having said. But he expressed surprise over the statement of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that “PML-N is the main hurdle in the formation of a grand alliance”.

“We are surprised by the Maulana’s statement. Our party chief has made it clear that in the larger interest of the country we are ready for such an alliance.” Mr Jhagra added. In reply to a question about joining hands with the PML-Q, the PML-N secretary general said except for the Chaudhrys of Gujrat and their ministers in the Gilani government, the rest were “dying for reuniting with us”.

Missing people
Presiding over a meeting of the Balochistan coordination committee’s office-bearers, Nawaz Sharif said most of the ‘missing people’ hailed from Balochistan and the government should make sincere efforts for their safe recovery. The former prime minister asked the government to “stop telling lies about drone attacks as they (drones) fly from Pakistan’s airports with the government’s connivance”. In reply to another question, he said PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat might have opposed the constitution of a commission on the Abbottabad incident “on the request of someone”. “Shujaat has perhaps read a written request from someone in this regard.”

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