Pakistan’s 2nd largest party wants presidential polls postponed

By Xinhua,

Islamabad : The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the second largest party in the country’s National Assembly, Sunday demanded that the presidential polls scheduled to be held on Sept. 6 be postponed by at least one month.

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The private Geo TV reported that the demand came at the conclusion of the PML-N’s four-hour-long meeting held in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

The meeting expressed disappointment on the attitude of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the dominant party in the ruling coalition, according to the report.

The participants of the meeting said that they did not want to be a part of the presidential elections and would instead remain sidelined. However, they said, a final decision in this regard will be made by tomorrow.

During the meeting, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said that he joined PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari with an open heart.

“I had not lust for power but even then the promises made a number of times were not fulfilled,” he complained.

He said that he made his sincere efforts to pull the country out of the prevailing crisis but it could not become possible due to unfulfilled promises.

The option of going into the opposition also came under discussion during the meeting. PML-N was of the opinion that the next president of Pakistan should from the smaller unit of the federation.

Reacting to PML-N’s complaints, Zardari said Saturday that PPP agreements with PML-N “are not holy like the holy Quran and the Hadith” and can be modified if circumstances change.

“Political parties do not make promises, they only arrive at understandings,” Zardari said, adding that political understandings are “sometimes 50 percent successful, and sometimes more than that, but are still considered successful.”

PPP announced Saturday that Zardari would run for president as its candidate.

Local press reports indicated that Pakistan’s ruling coalition was on the brink of collapse if PPP and PML-N, the two major partners in the coalition, could not find a solution to their differences over the issues including the restoration of some 60 judges deposed on Nov. 3, 2007 by former president Pervez Musharraf and the upcoming presidential election.