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 Zardari, Nawaz have no plan to meet

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PostSubject: Zardari, Nawaz have no plan to meet   Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:18 am

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif have no plan to hold a one-on-one meeting in the immediate future, their close aides say.

“I asked the president just on Wednesday about a possible meeting with Nawaz Sharif in the near future and was told that there was no such programme,” Zardari spokesman Farhatullah Babar told The News.

Answering a similar question, senior PML-N spokesman Senator Pervez Rashid said he did not believe any such session was on the horizon.Babar said he also specifically asked the president whether he was going to the Raiwind estate of the Sharif brothers on Friday and was informed that there was no such plan.

However, other sources feel after US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke’s pertinent remark made in Pakistan on Wednesday that Zardari and Nawaz Sharif agree on the repeal of the 17th constitutional amendment, the next session of the two leaders, whenever it would take place, would focus on its abolition.

They interpreted Holbrooke’s disclosure was also a kind of encouragement to Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to be in unison and extend cooperation to each other. Both sides admit the top US officials have been persuading, prodding and prompting them to work together. In fact, they have indirectly suggested to the PML-N to join the federal cabinet. However, on the ground no concrete work was being done to repeal the 17th amendment. A promised joint parliamentary committee that was to recommend constitutional amendments in order to do away with the distortions in the Constitution has yet to be constituted.—Tariq Butt
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