Making yet another about-turn, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said his party will take part in the general elections, rescinding his earlier stand of going for a boycott, saying the Pakistan People’s Party’s request had greatly influenced the party.
Addressing a press conference here, the PML-N leader said the PPP had wisely decided to take part in the elections for the sake of democracy and hinted at forming a coalition government with it. Explaining his decision to boycott the elections, Nawaz Sharif said he had taken the decision to express solidarity with the PPP over the assassination of Benazir.
Nawaz Sharif demanded resignation of President Musharraf, holding him responsible for the chaos in the country. He called for setting up of a national government to hold free and fair elections.
Replying to a question regarding the government’s stand on the killing of Benazir Bhutto, he demanded restoration of the pre-Nov 3 judiciary and assigning it the task to probe Benazir’s murder. He said Benazir’s letter to Mark Seigal should be treated as her final statement in which she had pointed out her killers.
He expressed dissatisfaction over security arrangements for him. He said the government was claiming that he, too, is on the hit list of terrorists, but wondered from whence the government had gathered this information. He complained that the government had not yet provided him with adequate security cover.
Nawaz said Benazir and he had bought their own armoured vehicles while the president had a fleet of 10 armoured vehicles and Pervaiz Elahi was using an official armoured vehicle. He predicted defeat for the PML-Q if elections were held in a transparent manner.
Agencies add: Expressing apprehensions about the credibility of the election commission, Nawaz Sharif said the commission is not playing its role effectively to ensure elections in a transparent manner.
He said at this critical juncture the PPP and people of Sindh would not be left alone. On the other hand, a PML-N spokesman said earlier on Monday that a “short postponement” of the elections “would be acceptable”.