Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif unwilling to accompany Zardari to US

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Islamabad, Jul 18 (UNI) Former Pakistani prime minister and senior leader in the ruling coalition, Nawaz Sharif has refused to accompany Pakistan Peoples Party chief Asif Zardari to US later this month.

According to local media reports, Zardari is deeply disturbed over Sharif's refusal.

It is not yet confirmed whether Zardari would fly to the US with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during the latter's first official trip or go on his own to Washington for meetings with senior American officials.

The PPP co-chairman wanted to time his visit with that of the prime minister, had Nawaz Sharif agreed to accompany them.

A Zardari's aide said had all the powerful civilian players of the present political dispensation travelled together to Washington, the weight and importance of such a joint US visit would have had exceedingly increased.

The PPP chief feels agonised over Nawaz's decline and has told his confidants that the PML-N was in no way helping the coalition work smoothly, and was rather making things very difficult for the government.

"Zardari feels let down because of Nawaz Sharif's refusals, including the previous one when the PML-N chief had declined to go to Saudi Arabia with the PPP leader and Gilani for a meeting with King Abdullah," a party official said.

He said although Nawaz's company would have added to the relevance and bearing of their visit to Riyadh, yet it remained highly productive as the kingdom agreed to the oil facility and other concessions as it had usually done.

The majority of PPP leaders are becoming increasingly edgy over the fact that their government was not working as desired mainly due to the incapacitation being consistently caused to it by the PML-N.

They smell a conspiracy but don't name the conspirators.

Some of them have started saying in private that the time when the ruling alliance will fall apart will come soon because the PPP may not be prepared to suffer in this way anymore.

At the same time, they are sick and tired of Nawaz Sharif's inflexible stand on the issue of the deposed judges. They are totally unwilling to accept what the PML-N chief insists on this count.

They continue to be full of venom against deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and recall how he had performed when he headed the Supreme Court. However, they have no solution to offer if the two sides continue with their stands on the question of restoration of sacked justices.

UNI XC NC AS0931

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