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Shabbaz Sharif tipped off JUD prior to asset freeze order by govt: Zardari to Patterson

By Abdul Nisar

Islamabad, Dec 1 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari discussed with the then US envoy to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, his increasing frustration with former premier Nawaz Sharif's government in Punjab, whom he believed, had tipped off Jamaat ul-Dawa (JUD) about the assets freeze ordered by the federal government, according to whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

During a meeting on January 2, Zardari told Patterson that he was "increasingly losing patience with Nawaz Sharif's government in the Punjab, and he believed that a confrontation was looming," The Guardian quoted a US embassy cable, as saying.

"He said that Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz Chief Minister Shabbaz Sharif had tipped off the JUD about the UNSCR 1267 mandated asset freeze, resulting in almost empty bank accounts. (Information from MOI does indicate that bank accounts contained surprisingly small amounts.)," revealed the secret cable.

"Zardari suggested Lahore Principal Officer might mediate between the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Governor and Shabbaz Sharif who increasingly are publicly at odds," the cable added.

Patterson noted that his government had been "holding over Nawaz's head" the Supreme Court's decision on Nawaz's eligibility to run for office, to which Zardari replied, "Yes, but it doesn't seem to be doing much good anymore."

According to the cable, Zardari also dismissed Nawaz's ability to bring crowds into the street in Punjab if his party was removed from the Punjab government. (ANI)

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