Sharif, Zardari avoid addressing media after coalition-saving talks

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Islamabad, Aug.5 : Pakistan People's Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday decided not to address a joint press conference after their crucial coalition-saving meeting at Zardari House here.

Key party sources were quoted by The News as saying that it had been decided that no one would be available to brief the media on the issues discussed at the meeting.

Zardari and Sharif held a "make or break" meeting on Tuesday to discuss restoration of deposed judges and the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf, the two "basic issues" threatening their fragile coalition.

The two leaders were assisted by their close aides during the parleys. Sharif and Zardari had held several meetings in the last few months, but failed to arrive at a consensus over major issues.

Earlier, the PML-N Chief had held a meeting with its party leaders to discuss current situation at the Punjab House. The decisions taken in Monday's meeting were ratified in today's session, said sources.

It further said, "Nawaz Sharif is accompanied by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Jawed Hashmi, Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar."

The PML-N Chief is reported to have tried to convince Asif Zardari to accept his demands of judges' restoration, president's impeachment and restoration of 1973 Constitution and is eager to show flexibility in these regards, say sources.

The PPP has reportedly decided to let all deposed Supreme Court judges to resume their duties after they take fresh oath from President Perez Musharraf, who had earlier administered them oath under the PCO (Provincial Constitutional Order).

This was disclosed by Law Minister Farooq H Naek on Monday evening while talking to reporters after a meeting of PPP leaders here.

He added that all arrears and benefits would be paid to these deposed judges, but they would be required to take a fresh oath from President Musharraf under the Constitution.

The PML-N is facing pressure from people for remaining in the coalition even after the PPP had failed to deliver on promises to reinstate the judges sacked by Musharraf during emergency, Sharif said.

The meeting is being described by political observers as a "make or break" one for the coalition.


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