Zardari-Sharif meeting ends inconclusively

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Lahore, Jun 19: The difference of opinion between PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif over the issues of impeaching President Pervez Musharraf and judges' restoration, once again came to the fore last evening when a meeting between the two leaders failed to bear any fruit, with both sticking to their respective stands.

While Zardari was of the opinion that a move to impeach Musharaf should be avoided until a two-thirds majority was attained in both houses of Parliament, Nawaz insisted that the PPP-led coalition enjoyed such a majority in parliament. In the meeting which was held at Nawaz's Raiwind residence, Zardari appealed to the PML-N ministers to rejoin the federal cabinet, suggesting that it was in the national interest and essential to streamline the functions of governmental institutions.

Nawaz, however, maintained that his party members would not consider rejoining the federal cabinet "until the sacked judges were restored in accordance with the Murree Declaration".

Zardari also urged Nawaz to reconsider the constitutional package as a means of restoring the sacked judges, and said it would help to avoid many legal and constitutional complications. The PML-N chief said that his party was firm on their position to restore the judiciary to its pre-November 2, 2007 status through an executive order instead of the parliament.

But, both the leaders reiterated their resolve to keep the coalition intact. Sources privy to the meeting said that both leaders agreed that any break in the current coalition would harm the country and it should hence be maintained at all costs.


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