Shahbaz Sharif defends friendship with Musharraf's old pal Brigadier Niaz

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Karachi, Jan 31 : Defending his friendship with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's old friend Brigadier (retired) Niaz Ahmad, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif said that he cannot end his friendship just because Niaz was a Musharraf's friend.

"I cannot end my friendship with a person (Niaz) just because he is a friend of a person (Musharraf) whom I dislike and oppose," Shahbaz told reporters.

Brigadier Niaz is known as Musharraf's informal emissary who was assigned with a task to discuss a covert power-sharing deal with Shahbaz.

Shahbaz further said that he might meet Musharraf if the latter agrees to quit and hand over power to an interim government and give more powers to the Election Commission.

"Musharraf can set a precedent with an honourable exit to prove his words that Pakistan comes first, otherwise it will mean that Musharraf's first priority is (to be) detrimental to Pakistan," he said.

He also said that he would quit politics if the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) manages to win even 10 National Assembly seats in the February 18 elections, if they were held in fair and transparent manner, "which is not possible under Musharraf's rule".

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