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Main opposition parties to form coalition

Latest update : 2008-02-24

Speaking after a meeting with the husband of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Thursday, former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif said he would work with Bhutto's party to form a government. .

Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday his party would form a coalition government with the party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto after they won crucial elections.
  
"We have agreed on a common agenda. We will work together to form the government in the centre and in the provinces," Sharif told a joint news conference with Bhutto's widower Asif Ali Zardari.
  
"We will ensure that you complete a full five years' term," said Sharif, addressing Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) after the pair held nearly three hours of talks.
  
The PPP and Sharif's party trounced the Pakistan Muslim League-Q party, which is allied to President Pervez Musharraf, in Monday's parliamentary elections.
  
Sharif said the two parties had overcome their differences over his demands for the immediate restoration of the country's chief justice, whom Musharraf sacked in November.
  
"In principle there is no disagreement on the restoration of the judiciary. We will work out the modalities in the parliament," said Sharif.
  
Zardari said there were "a lot of grounds to cover" between the two parties, but added: "Inshallah (God willing) we will be meeting off and on. In principle, we have agreed to stay together."
  
Bhutto's husband said the coalition would not involve any parties from the coalition that backed former general Musharraf during the last parliament from 2002 until November 2007.
  
"We intend to strengthen Pakistan together, we are not looking at pro-Musharraf. I don't believe pro-Mushraraf forces exist," Zardari said.
  
Zardari said that all of Pakistan's problems "can be solved by the political forces."
  
He added that the country needed a solution to a simmering insurgency in the southwestern province of Baluchistan and other "political autonomy issues."

Date created : 2008-02-21

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