Sharif, Zardari agree on coalition

Feb. 21, 2008 at 6:24 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Leaders of the two parties that won the most seats in Pakistan's parliamentary elections agreed Thursday to create a coalition government, it was reported.

Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who heads the Pakistan People's Party, and Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister who leads the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, got together at Zardari's house in Islamabad and announced afterward they had reached consensus, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.

"We have been able to secure the elections in a manner so that we have a comfortable majority in the center and the provinces, together with ANP (Awami National Party)," Sharif said at a joint conference with Zardari.

"We came to the same position when we started the fight (for democracy). We intend to stay together in the Parliament ... . We have future in democracy within our grasp," said Zardari.

Prior to the meeting, Sharif joined hundreds of lawyers calling for the reinstatement of judges removed by President Pervez Musharraf -- including Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry -- the Press Trust of India reported. The lawyers marched to Chaudhry's home, where he is under house arrest.

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