ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the political parties including Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Monday held separate meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and discussed with him host of issues including current political situation and the upcoming elections in Pakistan besides Pak-Turkey relations. Benazir Bhutto was accompanied by Makhdoom Amin Faheem and Senator Anwar Baig; Nawaz Sharif was assisted by Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra while Qazi Hussain Ahmed held meeting with the Turkish President along with Laiqat Baloch, Prof Khurshaid Ahmed and Syed Munnawar Hassan.
The opposition leaders later talked to the media persons and appraised them about their meetings with President Gul. PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto termed her meeting with Gul as useful. She said that they discussed all issues of bilateral interests including power transition in Turkey and the up-coming elections in Pakistan.
She said that a smooth transition from dictatorship to democracy is essential through a fair and transparent election otherwise the nation would be remained mired in tension. Bhutto said that she appraised the Turkish President about her decision to contest the upcoming polls as it would help in strengthening the democratic process in Pakistan.
PML (N) Chief Nawaz Sharif said that his meeting with President Gul was cordial and successful. He said Pakistan enjoys friendly relations with Turkey and he gave due importance to Pak-Turkey relations when he was in power. Nawaz said that Gul congratulated him on his return to Pakistan for which he is grateful to the Turkish President.
Replying to a question regarding rejection of his nomination papers by the Election Commission, the PML (N) leader said it astonished him that nomination papers of a two-time prime minister were rejected. He said that rejection of his and his brother Shahbaz Sharif’s papers proved that President Musharraf was using various tactics to suppress them. He said it was very surprising that his nomination papers were accepted in the 2002 elections.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that he had personal ties with Abdullah Gul for 40 years. He said that he discussed various issues with the Turkish President including Pak-Turkey relations. Replying a question, he said that no discussion was held on the current political situation between him and Gul. “I couldn’t meet Gul when I was in Turkey and it was a good opportunity that I met him today,” Qazi said. Responding to a question, the JI Ameer said that he has no knowledge that the Turkish President was here in Islamabad for political meetings and termed his meeting with Gul as a friendly gesture.
PTI Chief Imarn Khan, while taking to media after meeting with President Gul, said that he appraised the Turkish President on the reasons due to which his party had decided to boycott the elections. Imran Khan said that without the reinstatement of the judges there was no possibility of holding free, fair or transparent elections in Pakistan.-SANA