Gilani, Nawaz come together, agree to resolve issues


Raiwind (Pakistan) : Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday agreed to restore political stability in the Punjab province following a meeting of the two leaders here.

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The announcement comes after former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry got back his office Sunday, a week after the government gave in to protests that took the nuclear-armed nation to the threshold of widespread civil unrest.

After his meeting with Gilani at his home in Lahore Sunday, Sharif told reporters that his party was ready to extend all cooperation to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Sharif said he would seek legal action for ending the emergency rule (Governor’s rule) in Punjab and also on the issue of his non-eligibility from contesting polls. He said the PML-N is ready to support the PPP if the government repeals the 17th amendment.

He also lauded the role of the prime minister in the restoration of the judges who were sacked during Emergency by then president General Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif last week led a laywers’ ‘long march’ to demand the reinstatement of chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the 60-odd judges of the apex and high courts Musharraf had sacked Nov 3, 2007.

Gilani earlier announced that all the sacked judges would be reinstated. Sharif then called off the ‘long march’.

On his part, the prime minister said both the PML-N and the PPP share the same view on the supremacy of parliament and implementation of a “Charter of Democracy”. “We want to reconcile with the PML-N,” Gilani told reporters.

Gilani said the political mandate in the Punjab province would be respected and the party with majority would be invited to form the government there.

The judges issue had soured relations for over a year between the PML-N and President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party that had come together to form a coalition after the February 2008 general elections.

The two parties had even agreed to a governance agenda that included the restoration of the judges and the repeal of the controversial 17 amendments to the constitution Musharraf had rammed through in 2003, transferring most of the prime ministerial powers to the presidency.