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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Nawaz Sharif denies links with religious hardliners


* PML-N chief gives Obama plan cautious welcome

* Rejects charges against ISI
* Calls for an end to US drone attacks

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif denied in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that he has had links with religious hardliners.

He said the accusations were propaganda unleashed by General Pervez Musharraf, who deposed him in a coup in 1999.

Although members of the PML-N sometimes characterise the war on terror as America’s war and not Pakistan’s, Nawaz distanced himself from this view. “The concerns of the West are genuine and they need to be addressed in all seriousness. The problems Pakistan faces are very tough and very serious, and in fact are endangering our state in a very serious way.

“I personally think that no party singlehandedly, whether in the government, or outside the government, would be able to deal with these problems. We all will have to fight these problems together.”

He said the new US administration was much better than the previous one, but needed to understand his country’s concerns.

He said reaction to President Barack Obama’s new plan for Pakistan and Afghanistan, announced last week, had been ‘mixed’ in the country.

“As we are very willing to address the concerns of all our allies and friends, I think they should also understand our problems and handicaps,” he said. “It has to be reciprocal.”

Nawaz Sharif rejected the charges that the ISI has links with Taliban, saying there was not “any room for any suspicion of the ISI”.

He also called for an end to American drone attacks on Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. “Some of the policies followed by President Bush have given rise to a lot of anti-American feeling in Pakistan,” he said.

“For example the drone attacks are affecting our relationship. The people of Pakistan have criticised them very severely. It damages the sovereignty of our country. On this issue the United States of America must move carefully.” reuters

1 comment:

Aamir Mughal said...


Osama offered to buy votes for Nawaz: Qazi

March 19, 2006 Sunday Safar 18, 1427


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

Osama never met Nawaz: PML-N

March 20, 2006 Monday Safar 19, 1427


ISLAMABAD, March 19: PML-N Information Secretary Siddiqul Farooq has said Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden never met Nawaz Sharif nor they ever talked about any political cooperation. He was talking to journalists in Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) secretariat on Sunday with reference to an interview of Qazi Hussain Ahmad.

“I want to keep it on record that US intelligence agencies, the then Pakistani government, ISI and other secret agencies of Pakistan, Afghan Mujahideen, several religious parties including Jamaat-i-Islami and Osama bin Laden were jointly fighting to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet occupation.

Osama was a highly dignified person in the eyes of others and the US at that time. Later, differences developed between Osama and the US on the issue of Afghanistan and now they stand adversaries to each other.

Nawaz Sharif has no relevance to this situation”, Mr Farooq said.

As far as the disclosure made by Mr Ahmad about his meeting with Osama at Mansoora and that Osama wanted to see Sharif as prime minister and purchase loyalties of assembly members for this purpose, it was his personal wish, he said.

“This is an undeniable fact that Nawaz Sharif’s politics has been revolving around the protection of interests of Pakistan and its people over the past 23 years,” he said. —Online

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