US asks Sharif to go soft on Musharraf

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Lahore, Jul 2 (UNI) The United States has advised the former premier of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif to adopt a lenient view on the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf and let him determine his own future.

The US advice came as Assistant Secretary of state Richard Boucher met Mr Sharif at Raiwind farm house near Lahore yesterday.

Parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, ''Nawaz Sharif told the US official that President Musharraf's policy on the war on terror should be reviewed.'' He alleged that the president was conspiring against the process of democracy and the restoration of judges in Pakistan, adding that the situation could not improve in the country in his presence.

Mr Nisar apprised the US official that the nation wanted the restoration of the deposed judges and gave a mandate to the government in the February 18 elections.

The PML(N) leader said Sharif protested against US-led coalition attacks on Pakistan's tribal areas and termed the attacks as against the sovereignty of the country.

He also conveyed his reservations to Mr Boucher that it was a strange coincidence that whenever the visit of a US official was expected in Pakistan, there was a loss of precious human lives in sudden operations, Mr Nisar added referring to the ongoing operation by security forces in Khyber tribal region.

Mr Sharif categorically stated that the military operation in the tribal areas was not acceptable to his party which wanted to resolve the issue through talks.

He said the US should let Pakistan settle its issues by itself. He added if the US could not facilitate Pakistan, it should not, at least, interfere in its internal affairs.

UNI XC RJ NS1045

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