Islamabad, Aug.28 : Pakistan's key coalition leadersAsif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif exchanged views about the presidential elections here today.
The News quoted sources as saying that Zardari offered Sharif to rejoin the ruling coalition and asked him to withdraw Justice (retired) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui from the presidential elections, but Sharif said that things had gone to far ahead and his PML (N) is firm about restoration of all sacked judges.
Sharif has said that since he had moved out of the PPP-led federal coalition, his party would sit in the Opposition if the country's Prime Minister Gilani obtained a fresh vote of confidence, and would vote against it.
In a telephonic interview with a US weekly, Nawaz said that if a patch up had been done between the PPP and his party, then a PML-N-PML-Q alliance was also possible. PML-Q, often referred to as the King's Party, supports former Pervez Musharraf.
He further said that the presentation of guard of honour to former President Musharraf hurt the nation's sentiments. "The PML-N has always practiced politics of principles," The News quoted Nawaz as saying.
A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial has said that after the February 18 elections, Sharif agreed to support the PPP's prime minister pick Yousuf Raza Gilani in exchange for control over Punjab, even as the common goal of both the parties was to oust Musharraf, it added.
"Now that's done, Sharif is showing his true colours. He resigned from the governing coalition on Monday in protest over the treatment of judges fired by Musharraf last year," added the editorial.
By declaring that he was walking out of the coalition as PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari failed to fulfill his promise of restoring all Supreme Court judges, including deposed CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry, "Sharif is, in effect, setting himself up as a political martyr for democracy ... The PPP is worried most about the restoration of one judge: Iftikhar Chaudhry", added the US daily.
It accused Nawaz of collaborating with the PPP "out of expediency" and not because there was a meeting of the minds between the two. It also called Iftikhar Chaudhry a "highly politicised figure".
The PPP last evening conceded that the November 3 "unconstitutional" steps taken by former president Pervez Musharraf had been validated by the Supreme Court, and that the National Assembly could not reverse them.
Speaking to press persons, Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek said that as the Supreme Court had validated the Nov 3 actions of Musharraf, only the highest court of the country could reverse them and that "the PPP government could not do anything in this regard".