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Nawaz hopes new ISI DG will not meddle in politics

19 March, 2012

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LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has expressed hope that Pak Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will make sure that the new Inter-Services Intelligence chief General Zaheerul Islam will not meddle in the country's affairs to engineer the political course.

He was addressing a press conference on Sunday in the city. Marvi Memon, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Farmanullah Khan Marwat, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dr Anjum and Zubair Gull were also present.

Sharif alleged that the Pakistan People's Party-led government was "busy currying favour with the establishment in a grand conspiracy to stay in power", adding that his party would never become part of the conspiracies hatched by the intelligence agencies to 'manage' politics.

He said the role of the spy agencies should not be to take over the offices of political parties and indulge in horse-trading as they did during Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf's rule to 'help' the PML-Quaid.

The former prime minister (PM) asked the government to stop disrespecting institutions and said it was a joke that PM Yousuf Raza Gilani asked children how to 'dodge' the Supreme Court orders.

Sharif said his party made mistakes, but had learned a lesson with an intention not to deviate from the right path and to stand by his democratic principles.

He said his party is called anti-establishment by the ruling coalition in the Centre, because he had refused to sacrifice democratic norms for the sake of power.

"If our position is not liked by the establishment then they are free to do so but there will be no compromise on truth and do not expect any conspiracy from us," he said, adding that Pakistan's survival was linked to democracy and transparency.

Sharif said that he had never seen or met Younas Habib. He said he had seen Habib on television in recent days where he levelled charge that he [Habib] had paid Rs 3.5 million to him [Sharif] in person. "I have no idea why Younas Habib is doing this and on whose behest. What I know for a fact is that he [Habib] is a highly discredited man who brought financial ruin to his bank."

The PML-N president said Pakistan was going through a very difficult phase - 'tailored' by the PPP government, adding that there were ways to steer the country out of the crisis.

He said, "Zardari and [PM] Gilani have failed to make Pakistan a forward looking country, they have failed the public mandate."


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