London, Feb 8(ANI): Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has accused Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif of providing political cover to religious extremists in the country.
"He [Nawaz] has close links with Taliban and that's why he never speaks against them. He has friendships with Balochistan Liberation Army, Talal and Shahzain Bugti, he lives with them and treats them at their house. He is in bed with anti-Pakistan elements," The News quoted Musharraf, as saying in reference to Nawaz's support for Shahzain, who was recently arrested with a cache of weapons in the caravan accompanying him.
Musharraf made these comments while addressing a rally of his supporters organised by the Greater London unit of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
The public attendance at the rally, which was held in the Borough of Waltham Forest - home to most Pakistanis living in London, heartened the APML leader so much that he challenged Nawaz to hold a similar rally and bring out a similar crowd to prove the PML-N's claim that "East London was their heartland".
It is noteworthy that many of the people cheering Musharraf at the rally formerly belonged to Pakistan Muslims League-N and Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
The former military ruler said while people in the Middle East had risen up against the dictatorships and wanted to dispose them off; the situation in Pakistan was so bad that people were approaching the army to return to power to rid the country of corruption and bad governance.
"The country is in turmoil. The current rulers are ill equipped to govern efficiently. They have failed to curtail the rise of extremism and insecurity. Price hike is killing people. Middle class is going back to abject poverty and people are leaving Pakistan because their hopes have been quashed," he said, claiming that Pakistan shined during his reign.
Meanwhile, the shoe-throwing incident that followed the start of Musharraf's speech eclipsed the show in East London, when the news spread across Pakistan.
A 23-year-old West Midlands youth, who threw a shoe in the direction of Musharraf and was subsequently removed from the hall, said over the phone that he did not belong to any party and was not paid by anyone.
"I was born in Britain and grew up here but it makes me incensed when I see the hypocrite Pakistani politicians talking big," he said.
"I am aware how they have done everything to destroy the land of my parents and the country that I love. He insulted Pakistanis by handing over Dr Aafia Siddiqi to America," he added. (ANI)