ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has confirmed that the government is in contact with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Talking to a private television channel, he said: “The government, in its efforts for national consensus, has been in contact with all political leaders including Sharif brothers.” Earlier, there were reports that a team of the intelligence and political officials of President Pervez Musharraf has proceeded to London to negotiate a deal with the former Prime Minister.
However, Shaukat Aziz didn’t divulge further details of these contacts, nor did he say whether any deal was on the anvil with the former Prime Minister. About the deal between the government and Sharif family, he said the Saudi government had contacted the government for agreement with Nawaz Sharif and on their assurance the government had given relief to Sharif brothers. He said the government was assured that the Saudi government would fulfill its responsibility.
On the deal with Benazir, he said there was no possibility to lift constitutional ban on holding the prime minister office for third time. He also denied possibility of withdrawal of cases against Benazir Bhutto. He said every case against Benazir Bhutto will be reviewed separately and justice will be provided to her. To a question, the Prime Minister categorically denied news reports about the government’s plans to impose curbs on the judiciary adding that no step under consideration to restrain the judiciary.
He called Dr. Sher Afgan’s comments on the Supreme Court verdict his personal views. About the reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan, he said the decision was not made by an individual, it was a joint decision of various government departments and all are responsible for it. Aziz said the government had contacts with the Chief Justice in the past and will remain in touch with him in future. Replying a question, the Prime Minister said that no country will be allowed to determine the political future of Pakistan. “Pakistan is a sovereign state and no country has right to decide as to who governs the country and who will be the prime minister.” On the role of religious schools in the country the prime minister said that the government supports routine functioning of the seminaries in the country.-SANA