Sharif quits Pakistan's coalition government

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Islamabad, Aug 25 (UNI) Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today announced to quit the nascent coalition government with Pakistan People's Party (PPP), a week after their common political foe Pervez Musharraf stepped down as President.

''We have decided to withdraw support to coalition government with PPP after their repeatedly reneging on commitment to restore deposed judges,'' Mr Sharif told a press conference in Islamabad after his party - Pakistan Muslim League, PML (N) - meeting.

The two parties had formed their government in March after reaching an understanding to restore at least 60 judges sacked by Musharraf in November last year through a parliamentary resolution.

However, PML(N) has been complaining of what it calls repeated betrayals by PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to restore the judges, who became an icon of consistent struggle against dictatorship.

Mr Sharif also nominated retired Supreme Court chief justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui as his party's candidate for the presidential elections, slated for September 6.

He said the PPP also did not consult his party while nominating Mr Zardari as its candidate for presidential election and announcing election schedule for the top office.

''We will now sit on opposition benches,'' he said and declared his party would continue the struggle for re-instatement of deposed judges and restoration of genuine democracy in the country.


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