Islamabad, Jan 15: After former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif rejected President Pervez"s offer to join the National Government (NG) to be formed before the February 18 general elections, the latter is also learnt to have ruled out the idea saying the polls would be held under the present caretaker government.
Rejecting Musharraf"s offer, Nawaz Sharif had said that he would not join any national government formed by Musharraf. It may be recalled that on Saturday Musharraf had sent one his close aides to hold a meeting with Nawaz"s brother Shahbaz Sharif to convey his idea that PML-N was welcome to join the national government.
After Shahbaz discussed the idea with Nawaz, the latter rejected it. "I reiterate my demand today that a national government without President Musharraf should be formed for holding free and fair elections. Any arrangement involving Musharraf would not be acceptable to us," the Daily Times quoted Sharif as saying while addressing a public rally at Bhara Kahu.
Addressing the rally from the sunroof of his bulletproof Pajero, Sharif said neither had he done any compromise with President Musharraf in the past nor would he do so in the future. "I preferred living in exile for seven years to a compromise with Musharraf. I have never accepted him as president," he added.
Sharif said February 18 polls would be a referendum against Musharraf"s regime and the nation would bring back his party to power through votes. At the end of a meeting of the caretaker cabinet chaired by Musharraf, Presidential Spokesman Maj-Gen (Retd.) Rashid Qureshi said that the President had dispelled the rumours about a national government or a change of date for the polls and stated that such rumours were absolutely incorrect. The president made it clear that the elections would be held on the date already determined and would take place under the caretaker government, Qureshi said.