Nawaz Sharif reveals, 'Zardari offered us a deal'

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Raiwind (Pakistan), Feb. 25 (ANI): Former Pakistan's Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League (N) Chief Nawaz Sharif revealed today that Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari asked his brother Mian Shahbaz Sharif to strike a deal with the government over the issue of judiciary.

Addressing a press conference here after an important PML (N) meeting, he said Zardari offered Shahbaz Sharif a political deal when he invited him to a lunch at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

"Zardari offered that we (Nawaz and Shahbaz) would be declared eligible by the Supreme Court if we accept the present judiciary including Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar," The News quoted Nawaz as saying.

"I would have accepted the deal if power had been more dear to me than principles, he said, adding, we have embraced our disqualification but will not compromise on the national interest."

It was difficult to predict the losses and future implications of the Supreme Court's verdict, he said.

Nawaz said, the rulers have violated the promises made by the slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto with PML-N.

Earlier, the Pakistan Supreme Court has declared that Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is currently the Chief Minister of Punjab Province as ineligible for contesting elections.

A three member Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Musa K. Laghari, disposed-off the Sharif's electoral eligibility case on Wednesday. This in effect means that Shahbaz Sharif is Punjab Chief Minister.

Furious over the two line verdict, their lawyer, Akram Sheikh, said the decision was not surprising as the judges were only abiding by orders given to them by the Government.

"Sharif brothers were declared ineligible on the orders of President Zardari," The News quoted Sheikh, as saying.

He said now the people of Pakistan will decide whether the verdict is on merit or not.

Commenting on the verdict, Pakistan Muslim League (N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal compared Zardari to former President General Pervez Musharraf, and charged him with following the policies of the previous military regime.

"PML (N) would not tolerate a one-man state and Shahbaz Sharif is still the Chief Minister of Punjab constitutionally," Iqbal said.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain termed it as 'sad' decision, and said that it should not be celebrated by any party.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan termed the decision as a 'biased' verdict.

Commenting on the verdict, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief, Imran Khan said that the Supreme Court verdict in Sharif brothers' case was purely a government decision.

He said the courts would keep passing such verdicts till the judiciary was restored.(ANI)

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