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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Judicial NRO for Sharifs?

Chief Minister Punjab and President PML-N Shahbaz Sharif taking Media persons at Raiwind. — APP

Shahbaz Sharif will be the chief minister of Punjab once again. The Supreme Court’s decision to stay Mr Sharif’s disqualification means the Punjab government stands reactivated as it was before Feb 25.

It seems that a judicial NRO has been negotiated between the PPP and PML-N in order to remove certain legal barriers impeding Shahbaz Sharif's appointment as the Chief Minister, and the removal of the Sharif brothers' disqualification.

"....The earlier judgement of the SC against the Sharifs was correct in law but unacceptable politically. The new one granting “stay” seems incorrect in law but is the need of the hour politically. Thus politics has once again triumphed over law, this time for a good cause."

Restoration result of deal: Shujaat

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has claimed that the restoration of the Punjab government was the result of a deal between the PML-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and branded the process a tug of war between the two parties, a private TV channel reported on Tuesday. According to the channel, the PML-Q chief said he was happy by Shabaz Sharif’s restoration as the Punjab chief minister. He said that he knew earlier that the PPP and PML-N were entering a deal that would lead to the restoration of the Punjab government. daily times monitor

Shahbaz offers PPP to stay as coalition partner

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has offered the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to remain part of the Punjab cabinet and has asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders to negotiate with the PPP in this regard.He was talking to reporters at his Raiwind residence on Tuesday. Shahbaz said that he had thanked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for his positive role in the restoration of judiciary and for his efforts to ensure political stability in the Punjab. He said that the Punjab government would take all important decisions after taking the PPP in confidence, and it was up to the PPP to stay in the coalition or sit on the opposition benches in the provincial assembly. He announced to form a judicial commission to probe Monday’s terrorist attack on the Police Training School in Manawan. rana kashif

Normalising politics in Punjab

Talking to The Wall Street Journal, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) chief Mr Nawaz Sharif said on Monday: “The country cannot afford politics of confrontation, and no party can meet the tough challenges confronting the nation on its own”. He added: “Now, since the reconciliation efforts have been started, we are ready to establish a working relationship with the government”. Contrary to the loud complaints registered by his second-echelon party leaders, Mr Sharif appeared more “trustful” about the eventual repeal of the 17th Amendment and said that he could wait till it was finally removed through the parliament.

No one will be able to hide his relief at the above statement. Immediately after the presidential “recommendation” about the removal of Governor’s Rule in Punjab, PMLN leaders had restarted what can be called the “rhetoric of mistrust”, bitterly complaining about “things not said” in the presidential address to the joint session of the parliament. Led by Rana Sanaullah, the Punjab law minister, words like “makkaari” were used to explain why the PPP government had not waited till the Supreme Court verdict on the eligibility of the Sharif brothers before lifting Governor’s Rule. Not long after, the Governor Punjab did just the opposite of what Rana Sahib had feared: he called the Punjab assembly session on Wednesday, thus giving enough time for the Supreme Court process to complete itself.

Now that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be back at the helm of affairs in Punjab, the PMLN firebrand leaders should follow the more sedate style of their leader Mr Nawaz Sharif who realises that his party has become an important player and that he himself is becoming most popular in the country. In the days to come, not only “trust” but cooperation will be required on the part of both the mainstream parties. Mr Sharif has already pledged that in view of the common threat of terrorism faced by them as the future rulers of Pakistan. The stark fact is that the country is fast becoming ungovernable given the way its politicians are pulling in different directions. Politics in Pakistan needs “normalisation” before Pakistan can behave “normally” as a state.

One last point. The earlier judgement of the SC against the Sharifs was correct in law but unacceptable politically. The new one granting “stay” seems incorrect in law but is the need of the hour politically. Thus politics has once again triumphed over law, this time for a good cause. (Daily Times)


http://www.express.com.pk/ 2 April 2009


Aamir Mughal said...

Another Conspiracy is afoot to ease out Asif Ali Zardari [The News International/Jang Group of Newspapers and GEO TV is doing overtime to get Zardari]

US officials think Zardari’s days are numbered: NYT Thursday, April 02, 2009 Tarin paints bleak picture of economy Monitoring Desk


To quote The New York Times:


Can Pakistan Be Governed?

James Traub, a contributing writer for the magazine, is the author most recently of “The Freedom Agenda.”


American officials, increasingly convinced both that Zardari is not the interlocutor they had hoped for and that his days in power may be numbered, have begun to pay more attention to Sharif, long considered dangerously close to Islamist forces.


شریف خاندان مشرف کو کیا دے رہا ہے؟

علی سلمان
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور

وقتِ اشاعت: Sunday, 25 November, 2007, 06:33 GMT 11:33 PST


اس دس سالہ معاہدے کا کیا ہوا جس پر دونوں فریق اس حد متفق ہیں کہ اس پر نواز شریف کے دستخط موجود ہیں؟


میاں نواز شریف کی واپسی اگر ڈیل کا نتیجہ نہیں ہے تو پھر اس بار حکومت کارویہ اتنا مختلف کیوں ہے؟
آخر سعودی فرماں روا عبداللہ بن عبدالعزیز نے وہ کونسا احسان کیا جسے نواز شریف اور ان کے اہلخانہ ساری زندگی نہیں بھلاسکتے؟ اس احسان کا اعتراف میاں نواز شریف بار بار کر رہے ہیں حالانکہ جب اب سے صرف سوا دو مہینے پہلے جب اسلام آباد ائرپورٹ سے انہیں دوبارہ جلاوطن کیا گیا تھا تو مسلم لیگی رہنما سعودی عرب کے خلاف اس قدر برانگیختہ ہوئے تھے کہ پاکستان کی تاریخ میں پہلی بار سعودی عرب کے خلاف عوامی اجتماعات میں تقریریں ہوئی تھیں۔

یہ بھی ایک حقیقت ہے کہ دوسری جلاوطنی میں سعودی حکومت مشرف کا ساتھ نہ دیتی تو نواز شریف کو کسی دوسرے ملک بھجوایا جانا صدر مشرف کے لیے بہت مشکل یا شاید ناممکن ہی ہوتا۔ یہ سوال یقیناً بہت سے پاکستانیوں کے ذہن میں کلبلا رہا ہوگا کہ اب اچانک سعودی بادشاہ نے کیا احسان کر دیا ہے؟

سوال حکومت پاکستان سے بھی ہے کہ وہ اچانک میاں نواز شریف پر اتنی مہربان کیوں ہوگئی ہےکہ نہ صرف انہیں آنے کی اجازت مل رہی ہے بلکہ اس سعودی شاہی طیارے کو لاہور کے ائرپورٹ پر خوشدلی سے اترنے دیا جا رہا ہے جو سعودی بادشاہ نے سابق پاکستانی وزیراعظم کو اس خصوصی سفر کے لیے دیا ہے۔

سعودی فرماں روا اور نواز شریف کی ملاقات

نواز شریف کی وطن واپسی کی صورت میں ان کے استقبال میں اس کی طرح کی رکاوٹ نہیں ڈالی جا رہی جیسا کہ ماضی میں ہوتا رہا ہے۔ پولیس کا رویہ مسلم لیگ (ن) کے ساتھ اچانک نرم ہوگیا ہے۔ لاہور میں ساری رات اجتماعات ہوئے، پوسٹر،بینر لگے لیکن اکا دکا کے سوا کوئی گرفتاری ہوئی نہ آخری اطلاعات آنے تک نواز شریف کے خیر مقدمی پوسٹر یا بینراتارے گئے۔

مسلم لیگ کے صدر شہباز شریف کہتےہیں کہ نواز شریف اور ڈیل دو متضاد چیزیں ہیں، ایوان صدر سے ترجمان کہتےہیں کہ نواز شریف کی واپسی کسی ڈیل کا نتیجہ نہیں ہےتو پھر اس دس سالہ معاہدے کا کیا ہوا جس پر دونوں فریق اس حد متفق ہیں کہ اس پر نواز شریف کے دستخط موجود ہیں۔

یہ معاہدہ کب اور کیسے ختم ہوا اور اسے کس نے کالعدم قراردیا۔

پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئر پرسن بے نظیر بھٹو نے تو پاکستان آنے سے پہلے برملا حکومت سے بات چیت کا اعتراف کیاتھا اسی بات چیت کی کوکھ سے ایک مفاہمتی آرڈیننس نے جنم لیا جو اچھا یا برا تھا لیکن ایک آئینی اقدام تھا اور عوام سے کوئی بات چھپائی نہیں گئی تھی۔

اب سیاسی مبصرین بجا طور پر یہ سوال اٹھا سکتےہیں کہ شہباز شریف کے خلاف لاہور کی انسداد دہشت گردی کی عدالت نے قتل کے مقدمے میں گرفتاری کے ناقابل ضمانت دائمی وارنٹ جاری کر رکھے ہیں اس کا کیا بنے گا۔ کیا شہباز شریف کو ائرپورٹ پر ہتھکڑیاں لگ جائیں گی؟اگر نہیں تو کیا یہ پھر بھی ڈیل نہیں کہلائے گی۔

نواز شریف سمیت شریف خاندان کے مقدمات نیب میں زیر سماعت ہیں اور خود نواز شریف کو ایک ایسے معاہدے کےتحت جلاوطن کیا گیا جس میں انہوں نے جلاوطنی قبول کی اور بدلے میں میں ان کی سزا معاف کی گئی۔ سوچنے کی بات یہ بھی ہے کہ اگر نواز شریف وہ معاہدہ توڑ کر واپس آرہے ہیں تو کیا ان کی سزائیں بھی دوبارہ بحال کی جارہی ہیں؟ اگر نہیں تو کیا پھر بھی یہ ڈیل نہیں ہے؟

نواز شریف کے حوالے سے یہ بیان آیا تھا کہ’ وہ صدر مشرف سے نہیں ملنا نہیں چاہتے سعودی فرماں روا شاہ عبداللہ خود ان سے بات کریں‘۔ کیا وہ انہیں یہ کہہ رہے تھے کہ وہ ان کی طرف سے صدر مشرف سے معاملات طے کریں اورکیا انہیں اپنی غیر اعلانیہ قید میں رکھنے والے سعودی حکام کا شریف خاندان پر یہی احسان ہے کہ انہوں نے جہاں ماضی میں انہیں جیل سے نکلوا کر اپنی سرزمین پر پناہ دی وہیں اب وہ انہیں دس کی بجائے سات برس میں وطن واپسی کی اجازت لے کر دے رہے ہیں۔

آخر کچھ تو ایسے معاملات ہوئے ہونگے جس نے سو دو مہینے کی قلیل مدت میں صدر مشرف کے رویے کو اس حد تک تبدیل کیا کہ وہ انہیں تیسری بار جلاوطن نہیں کر رہے۔

کیا پاکستان کا عام شہری نواز شریف اور صدر مشرف سے یہ پوچھنے میں حق بجانب نہیں کہ آٹھ برس پہلے جلاوطنی کا معاہدہ اور اب وطن واپسی کے اقدامات ڈیل، مفاہمت، مذاکرات، کچھ لو کچھ دو نہیں ہے تو پھر کیا ہیں؟

ہر ڈیل میں ادلے کا بدلہ ہوتاہے شریف خاندان کو تو اس مبینہ ڈیل کے نتیجےمیں وطن واپسی کی اجازت مل رہی ہے اور وہ بھی ایسی کہ ایک فوجی حکومت اور اس کے تمام آئینی اور ماورائے آئین اقدامات کے باوجود شریف خاندان کو عام انتخابات میں اپنے کاغذات نامزدگی جمع کرانے کا سیدھا موقع مل رہا ہے۔ سوچنے کی بات یہ ہے کہ جواباً شریف خاندان صدر مشرف کو کیا دے رہا ہے؟


‘Listen to Shahbaz Sharif admitting deal’


جلاوطنی معاہدے کی نقل عدالت میں

آصف فاروقی
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آباد

وقتِ اشاعت: Wednesday, 22 August, 2007, 12:52 GMT 17:52 PST


Sharif Brother's Exile Documents.


Sharif Brother's Exile Documents.


Shahbaz admits political dialogue with Brig Niaz By Rauf Klasra Friday, January 18, 2008


LONDON: PML-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif has confirmed that during his meeting with the trusted friend of President Pervez Musharraf, Brig (retd) Niaz, shortly before his arrival in Britain, both had discussed “important political matters” of Pakistan, but no secret message was delivered to him from the presidency.

In an exclusive interview with The News after his arrival in London, Shahbaz said he had visited the residence of Brig Niaz, as he was not only their family friend but a well-wisher too. Explaining the nature of his meeting which triggered reports that perhaps once again Brig Niaz was out to bridge the gap between his common friends, the Sharif brothers and Musharraf, Shahbaz said he had visited his house to pay a courtesy call.

He said since he went to Pakistan in November last year, he had not met Brig Niaz, who was respected and admired in his family. He said he had come to know that Brig Niaz was ill and he went to inquire about his health.

When asked whether Brig Niaz had delivered any message of Musharraf in the changed situation, Shahbaz denied it outright and said no such message was given to him. To another question if he had discussed the current political situation with Brig Niaz, Shahbaz said, “Definitely, the political situation was discussed during the meeting and we both exchanged our political views on all the issues confronting Pakistan.”

“Of course, when we meet, like common Pakistanis, we also discuss the current political situation. It was very natural to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country,” said Shahbaz while defending his conversation on political issues with the trusted friend of General Musharraf.

Asked whether being an elder and old friend, Brig Niaz gave him any political advice about the political course the Sharif brothers should take now, Shahbaz replied that he always gave them advice that we all should work for the betterment of Pakistan. “I hope, Brig Niaz was giving similar advice to his friend General Musharraf, too,” Shahbaz said.

When told that his meeting with Brig Niaz had given currency to reports that finally the PML-N was bridging its gap with Musharraf, Shahbaz rejected this widely-perceived notion and wondered how one could draw such kind of wild conclusions.

He argued that one could have common friends and it did not mean that there was any new deal or arrangements in the making with Musharraf. To support his argument, Shahbaz said: “Now PPP senator Farooq Naik happened to be the brother-in-law of PML-N leader Khawaja Mohammad Asif. Does it mean that we should dismiss Khawaja Asif from our party, as he is related to a senator of PPP?”

Asked whether there was any possibility of his meeting with Musharraf in London, Shahbaz said: “Absolutely not”. When told that Brig Niaz was reaching London and whether he would meet him during his stay here, Shahbaz replied he had no idea whether Brig Niaz was also in London.

When asked whether the PML-N would become a part of a national government after the general elections in the country as proposed by Asif Zardari, Shahbaz said it was too early to comment on what would be the response of his party.

However, he said both the political parties had a working relationship and both had signed the Charter of Democracy in London, which might become the basis of cooperation in the future. He reiterated the demand that a neutral and independent government should hold free and fair elections in the country and the Election Commission should be strengthened to ensure transparency of polls. Shahbaz said by visiting the General Hospital Rawalpindi to mourn the killing of Benazir Bhutto on December 27 followed by his visit to Naudero, Nawaz Sharif had saved the federation.

Brig Niaz: the man playing the informal go-between By Tariq Butt Tuesday, January 15, 2008


ISLAMABAD: Brig (retd) Niaz, a friend of President Pervez Musharraf, had more than once facilitated return of some female members of the Sharif family to Pakistan in the past to attend to family affairs.

He had no acquaintance with the Sharif family until he was approached by a common friend a few years ago, seeking his help in facilitating travel of female members of the Sharif family to Pakistan through his good offices with President Pervez Musharraf to attend marriages of their relatives. Sharifs were then in Jeddah.

"I was groomed in an environment that doesn't allow being discourteous with anybody expressing his desire to meet him," the former brigadier had told this correspondent before Nawaz made an abortive attempt to return to Pakistan on Sept 10 last year.

Niaz met the Sharifs in London where he had primarily gone for treatment. The soldier had sought that since he was an apolitical person he should be spared from being embroiled in any controversy. He did not agree to a record chat, but consented to tell the story about his contacts with Sharifs and how relations between Musharraf and him built up.

Before his failed attempt to return to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif was thrashing Musharraf in his live news conferences in London. At that point, one clearly noticed that Niaz was greatly distressed by Sharifs' diatribe against Musharraf. But he was helpless and felt embarrassed. His last encounter with Sharifs in London had turned out to be a futile exercise when he failed to convince Nawaz Sharif to delay his return to Pakistan for some time.

However, when the common friend had urged Niaz to talk to the president, he was quick to say yes. He had met Musharraf and secured the requisite go-ahead for Sharifs to attend marriages in their family.

The six feet-plus tall former brigadier, originally hailing from Chakwal, one of the main recruiting areas of the Pakistan Army, faced no difficulty in obtaining the president's consent for Sharifs to come back, saying that female members should not suffer for the faults of their male elders.

During his meetings with Sharifs, Niaz had been urging them to show restraint towards the president, realising the grave situation in Pakistan. But the two brothers had never practically did that and kept on with their rhetoric.

Niaz again hit the headlines last week when Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif met him at his Islamabad residence. This was basically meant to thank and show respect to the former brigadier for facilitating the Sharif family at the most difficult time for a private affair.

"This was basically a courtesy call from Shahbaz, who was meeting people that had come to their rescue during their time in exile," a PML-N leader told The News. "Like Niaz's previous encounters with Sharifs, this one, too, failed to moderate them. Niaz, however, did stress that Sharifs should lower their temperament," he said.

When one had met Niaz, the judicial crisis was at its peak and Musharraf had been pushed to the wall. The former brigadier was extremely distraught over the point where Musharraf had gone because of the immense public pressure. He was also displeased with what a set of judges of the Supreme Court and his detractors were doing against the president. Particularly, Sharifs unhealthy role in the whole situation disturbed him a lot. He gave the impression as if his mission miserably failed.

Cigar-smoking Niaz did not know Musharraf at all till a former colonel, who was his and the president's friend, arranged a meeting between them. This is how the two became friends. Niaz was penniless when he had to leave the Army in 1977 for his refusal to fire at protesters during the limited martial law in Lahore. He was extremely worried about how he and his children, including a blind daughter, would make both ends meet. He had no home, no other resources to fall back on.

It was the then Chief of the Army Staff Mirza Aslam Beg who, knowing Niaz since long, enquired after his plight and came to know about his condition. He pushed him to involve himself in defence purchases. Niaz was reluctant, saying he has no experience in the field and did not know complexities of the business.

Finally, he agreed and earned kudos. He later bought the present sprawling house in Islamabad. Wherever he went in army offices for business purpose, he found officers, who had been his students in the Army when he was an instructor. It turned out to be an easy sailing for him all around.

Niaz, around 80, has been seriously ill for the past few years. He was suffering from memory loss and other brain problems that also resulted in significant weight loss. He has to give up some of his old habits, including cigarette smoking, but sought permission from doctors to smoke cigar, which was less injurious. He visits Britain off and one for treatment.

Efforts on to revive Musharraf-Nawaz contacts By Rauf Klasra Saturday, August 25, 2007


LONDON: Brigadier (retd) Niaz Ahmed, a secret negotiator between Nawaz Sharif and General Pervez Musharraf since the former prime minister’s days of exile in Jeddah, has reached London. The visit comes amid reports about revival of backdoor channels by the two parties to reach an understanding in the new scenario.

Another Musharraf aide is also said to be on his way to London to revive contacts with Nawaz after the exiled prime minister, in a big departure from his seven-year-old stance, dropped a hint at a press conference here on Thursday that he was ready to sit with General Musharraf for the sake of a grand political reconciliation if the president quit power.

It is being claimed here that the Musharraf camp, having left with little options following the SC verdict, is set to revive backdoor channels with Nawaz through a common friend Brigadier (retd) Niaz.

The family members of Brigadier Niaz confirmed to The News from Islamabad that he was in London. When this correspondent contacted his residence in London, the inmates said Brig Niaz would be available on Monday.

When contacted, Press Secretary to the President, Major General Rashid Qureshi told The News from Islamabad that he had no information about the revival of backdoor channels through Brigadier Niaz or for that matter Tariq Aziz visiting London.

The News tried to contact Shahbaz Sharif for his comments, but he was not available. The Musharraf camp is said to be quite optimistic aboutr eaching an understanding with the Nawaz camp, after involving Brigadier Niaz, who is highly respected by the Sharif brothers for what he has done for them in the past.

Sources said the first sign of flexibility in Nawaz Sharif's approach emerged at his Thursday’s press conference when replying to a question, he said he was ready to sit with General Musharraf if he announced to quit power. This change is said to have given enough space to the Musharraf camp to revive the old links.

Sources said the Musharraf camp might offer a safe landing to Nawaz in Pakistan. And he might be told that Musharraf is ready to take off his uniform before the presidential elections. But the PML-N should not resign from parliament as it had earlier announced. Nawaz might also be given an assurance that a level-playing field would be given to his party to contest the elections.

But a source told The News that Nawaz might not be tempted to strike a new deal with Musharraf after winning a legal battle because he was not expected to get anything significant in return in case Musharraf continued in power and Benazir Bhutto captured the slot of prime minister.

Sources said after the SC verdict, the Nawaz camp might not be ready to offer this big political price as by not resigning from the Parliament, the Sharif brothers might be agreeing to continuation of Musharraf in power and holding of elections under his supervision, something not acceptable to them and their charged followers.

Shahbaz meets president’s aide today By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Saturday, January 12, 2008


ISLAMABAD: In a significant political development President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif will have an important meeting with President Pervez Musharraf’s close aide and former instructor Brigadier (retd) Niaz Ahmad here in Islamabad today (Saturday).

Brigadier Niaz Ahmad had been playing the role of envoy to President Pervez Musharraf in interacting with the Sharif brothers in recent months first in London and lately in Saudi Arabia. The PML-N president has come to the federal capital for the purpose and the meeting is expected to help reduce tension between the presidential camp and its arch critic, the PML-N leadership.

It would be Shahbaz Sharif’s third meeting with the brigadier after the Sharif family returned home from exile. The brigadier had been playing the role of go between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Pervez Musharraf.

Political observers are not ruling out a breakthrough between President Pervez Musharraf and Shahbaz Sharif within a day or two sequel to the meeting. Nawaz Sharif had expressed his willingness to meet the president conditionally early this week. He put the restoration of superior judiciary as the lone condition for such a meeting.

Highly placed sources told The News Friday evening that PML-N is inclined to play a positive role in reducing the prevailing tension in the country so that polls could be held in a free atmosphere where the president would not feel any hesitation to hand over power to any party that could win the majority vote.

The meeting would be a landmark occasion in view of the upcoming elections which are less than five weeks away. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has already softened its tone towards the administration to smoothen the atmosphere and concentrating on electioneering, the sources pointed out. It appears that all the stakeholders are in a reconciliation mood in the interest of holding the polls in a peaceful manner.

The emanating threats to the country’s nuclear programme and increasing suicide bombings that has hurt the social and economic fibre of the country are proving the source of motivation for the major political parties to help lower political temperature so that the enemy does not take advantage of the situation.

President Pervez Musharraf is also following the path of reconciliation and his Thursday interview with a Singapore newspaper to hint at resigning if an impeachment motion was moved against him in the Parliament after the polls, is believed to be an expression of change of his mind.

Brigadier Niaz Ahmad is the one who worked out details for return of the Sharif family to Pakistan in November last year. He assisted the team of the Presidential camp first in London and then in Jeddah for making their return smooth, the sources said.

The president’s former Chief of Staff General Hamid Javed led the Presidential team in the initial talks. The sources said that President Pervez Musharraf had marathon meetings with Brigadier Niaz Ahmad in Rawalpindi this week where vital national interests, especially the precarious security situation came up for discussion.

The brigadier is widely respected in the army as he has taught almost every general currently sitting at the helm of affairs in the GHQ. He is in his late 80s and has unblemished record during the service of armed forces of Pakistan. He resigned on April 10, 1977 in Lahore when he was commanding the troops and martial law was imposed. He was ordered to fire at the people protesting against the government but instead of shooting at the innocent people he opted to resign there and then.

In an exclusive chat with The News, Brigadier Niaz Ahmad said Friday evening that he has received a call from Shahbaz Sharif, who will be visiting him on Saturday. “I have no political ambition. I wish to serve my country that need healing handling. Every one of us must play our role at this critical juncture,” the brigadier said in a sentimental tone.

Brigadier Niaz has planned to leave for London tomorrow on a private visit. If there is any follow up meeting at a different level, it would take place before his departure for the UK, the sources opined.

Interestingly, Nawaz Sharif is also in the proximity of the federal capital and Shahbaz will report to him immediately after the meeting. The Sharif brothers will evolve some strategy after the meeting today. They will also have consultations with their political allies and party leaders for any further action, the sources added.

Musharraf's aides invite Sharif's brother to join govt January 13, 2008 20:31 IST


The regime of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] has invited ex-Premier Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz to be part of the national government to be formed before next month's general election and proposed a future role for him after the polls, according to a media report.

Shahbaz, the president of PML-N party, dashed to Islamabad on Saturday for a day-long visit, during which he held separate meetings with Brigadier (retired) Niaz Ahmad, a close aide of Musharraf, Saudi Ambassador Ali Awadhi Al Asseri and Wajahat Latif, former chief of the Federal Investigation Agency.

PML-N spokesman Ahsan Iqbal had denied reports of contacts between the military regime and the party, saying Shahbaz was meeting Ahmad as the latter was a close friend and was unwell.

Local daily Dawn, however, quoted sources as saying that Ahmad had passed on a message from Musharraf to Shahbaz "about the formation of a national government before the general election."

Sources in the PML-N said Musharraf had suggested that Shahbaz should become a part of the proposed government. They said Musharraf had also proposed a future role for Shahbaz after the February 18 parliamentary polls.

Shahbaz told Ahmad that he would not reply to the proposals without consulting his brother, the sources said.

This was the second meeting between Shahbaz and Ahmad last week. Neither side would confirm or deny that they had met earlier.

Speculation about negotiations between the PML-N and the regime increased as Shahbaz also met the ambassador of Saudi Arabia, which played a key role in the return of the Sharif brothers to Pakistan from exile in November

The sources also said Ahmad had requested the Sharif brothers to soften the language against Musharraf at their public meetings.

Ahmad, a former instructor to Musharraf, has been negotiating with PML-N and PPP leaders for the past few years and had held several meeting with the Sharif brothers while they were in exile in London [Images] and Saudi Arabia.

A group of reporters spotted Shahbaz on Saturday, outside the residence of the retired brigadier when he was leaving after their meeting. Shahbaz told them his meeting with Ahmad should not be construed as a political move and that he had come only to pay a courtesy call.

Shahbaz said free and fair elections were unlikely as the government was making every effort to rig them by carrying out massive transfers of government officials after the announcement of the election schedule. He called for the reconstitution of the Election Commission.

PML-N spokesman Iqbal even said Musharraf should quit so that a national unity government could be formed to oversee impartial polls. But senior PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan indicated that the party had officially received some sort of a proposal for forming a national unity government.

Tariq Azeem, a minister in former prime minister Shaukat Aziz's cabinet, said that the ruling PML-Q had been 'weighing the pros and cons of a national unity government for some time'. He denied that the proposal was aimed at delaying the general election.

"The formation of a national government before the elections would allay fears of poll rigging," Azeem said.

Osama offered to buy votes for Nawaz: Qazi


ISLAMABAD, March 18: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed has revealed that Osama bin Laden had offered to buy loyalties of legislators to see Mian Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. In an interview appearing in the magazine of an Urdu newspaper on Sunday, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that Osama had visited the JI headquarters Mansoora and wanted to strike an agreement with the Jamaat but the suggestion was declined by him. Excerpts of the interview were published by the newspaper on Saturday.

Qazi said he had met Osama several times in the past.However, the JI on Saturday clarified that meetings between the JI amir and Osama in Peshawar and Lahore were held in days when the Al Qaeda leader was staying in Peshawar. Recalling political events that took place when Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and JI were components of the then Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Qazi said Osama was a big supporter of IJI and Nawaz Sharif and wanted to see him Pakistan’s prime minister.“Bin Laden was prepared to pay for buying parliamentarians’ votes to achieve this objective,” said Qazi Hussain Ahmed, who also heads the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal. He said a delegation sent by Osama had visited him in Peshawar and conveyed that they wanted cooperation from JI but “we declined the request”. In a statement issued on Saturday, a JI spokesman said that excerpts from interview were published in the daily and presented on a private TV channel in such a manner
that they were creating confusion in the minds of people.—PPI


Aamir Mughal said...

In major U-turn, Nawaz to visit US Embassy Friday, April 03, 2009 By our special correspondent


ISLAMABAD: PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif has agreed to visit the US Embassy in Islamabad to meet President Obama’s Special Representative Richard Holbrooke during his forthcoming visit to Pakistan, according to reliable sources.

According to some political analysts this is a major U-turn of the PML-N, as in the past while in opposition it has criticised PPP leaders and especially Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari for going to the American ambassador’s residence to meet the US envoy or other visiting dignitaries.

When PML-N’s close sources contacted in this regard, they termed talks about U-turn as wrong, saying that if they had to take a U-turn, then the PML-N leaders could take advantage through a deal during their years of exile like other politicians.

“The fact is that the US officials have visited Raiwind many times for meeting Nawaz Sharif and meetings are a mutual phenomenon,” they said, adding therefore Nawaz Sharif would visit US embassy for meeting Holbrooke. “We never struck secret deals, in closed doors, and our history is an open book,” they claimed.

Meanwhile, US officials say they will stay in touch with Nawaz Sharif and other opposition leaders in Pakistan and their meetings with him are nothing unusual. According to sources, what is unusual about the forthcoming Holbrooke visit is that Nawaz Sharif will be going to the US Embassy rather than insisting on asking the American visitors to come to Raiwind to meet him.

When a senior PPP leader was contacted for comments in this regard he said: “Nawaz Sharif is trying to show flexibility to gain the Americans’ confidence, as while it is easy for any Pakistani politician to try and mobilise support among the people by acting as anti-American, in the end they always have to work with the United States. The same is happening with Nawaz Sharif who was very critical of the US before the February 2008 election and always presented himself as the man who would not bend to the Americans.”

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif even spoke of naming Dr A Q Khan as the PML-N’s presidential candidate in the weeks before the election, knowing fully well that this would be considered a major act of defiance by the Americans.

American officials say they are working closely with the democratically elected Pakistani government led by President Asif Ali Zardari in wide-ranging areas of common interest and that American officials maintain contacts with the opposition parties in Pakistan just as they do in other countries.

The State Department also made it clear after recent reports about evolving US-PML-N relations that Washington would continue to work with the current democratic government until Pakistan has a new government in due course of political process and as a result of elections in the mandated timeframe, four years from now.

“There is a government in place. We are working with the government. There are opposition parties, we have regular contacts with them not only in Pakistan but also in all countries. “We are in a good diplomatic relationship with Pakistan, we will continue to work with the government on the problems that it faces; not only those of terrorism but also on institution building and on economics,” State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid had stated in response to a question if Washington is looking more towards PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

The US officials, he added at the daily briefing, will have discussions with opposition parties and their members in order to discuss with the entire political leadership how they see that Pakistan moves forward.

In answer to another question, the spokesman said he would not analyze recent political developments but emphasized that the US would continue to work closely with the current democratically elected government.

Mr Holbrooke will meet President Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr, COAS General Kayani at Army House and Prime Minister Gilani at PM House but the PML-N Quaid will visit him at the US ambassador’s residence.

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