Lahore, Nov 8 : Senior PML-N leader and former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif, who had walked out of the Yousuf Raza-led federal cabinet a few months back citing differences on various issues, is scheduled to break bread tonight with the country's President and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
It is believed that many issues will be raised during the dinner in a candid and frank way, "but in a spirit of positive assertiveness" and not to let any misunderstandings or misgivings create a wedge that could dent their cooperation in the larger interest of the democratic set-up, reported The News.
According to the paper, the Sharif brothers are determined not to create any obstacles for the Asif Ali Zardari-led regime in Islamabad because they believe any confrontation would bring down the entire political system.
Telephonic contacts between Zardari and Sharif are said to be regular and frequent, so much so that sometimes they speak to each other daily or on every alternate day. But they have not met for weeks, not after the Sharifs formally congratulated Zardari on his election as the President of Pakistan, the paper said and added that their last meeting to discuss political issues was on August 22, shortly after former president Pervez Musharraf had resigned. That meeting was aimed at hammering out an agreed mechanism to restore the deposed judges.
According to the paper, despite their apparent distance, Nawaz Sharif and President Zardari have remained in constant touch. For instance, before going to Saudi Arabia, President Zardari called Sharif, who was then in Dubai. "I am in your city," Sharif told him, in a rare show of humour. "Well then I am going to your city, Madina," Zardari, who is known for his over-blown sense of humour.
As soon as he returned from Saudi Arabia, Zardari again called the PML-N chief and invited him for dinner at the Presidency on Saturday night and Sharif was happy to oblige. The sarcastic exchange of witty remarks between the two leaders is not without a reason or a hovering shadow of doubt and suspicions on their relations.