Bhutto, Sharif to act jointly

Dec. 4, 2007 at 1:22 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Former Pakistani prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto may boycott the January polls if President Pervez Musharraf doesn't meet their demands.

The two politicians, who lead the country's main opposition parties, met Monday for a marathon session where they put aside differences on whether to participate or boycott the elections and present a joint front, the Pakistan newspaper Dawn reported Tuesday.

The report said Sharif and Bhutto, after their three-hour meeting, decided elections under the current emergency rule by Musharraf cannot be free and fair. They decided to set up an eight-member joint committee to prepare a charter of demands to be submitted to Musharraf.

The report said Bhutto, who leads the Pakistan People's Party, also criticized the rejection of the nomination papers of Sharif, who leads the Pakistan Muslim League faction party. Sharif, in turn, praised Bhutto's effort to promote democracy.

Bhutto was quoted as saying if the right conditions for elections are not created, the committee could recommend pulling out of the polls.

The BBC reported Sharif is expected to appeal the decision to ban him from the elections. The report said the charter of demands also is expected to call for reforms of the electoral commission.

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