Sharif urges Musharraf to quit
Islamabad, November 5, 2007
Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif called on President Pervez Musharraf to step down following his imposition of emergency rule.
Asked what Musharraf should do now, Sharif told Sky News: 'Step down, because he is part of the problem ... The more he prolongs his misrule, Pakistan will be moving towards anarchy.'
Sharif, speaking by telephone from Saudi Arabia, said he had every intention of going back to Pakistan.
'I'm talking to my hosts in Saudi Arabia (about returning) ... The people of Pakistan expect me to come back and play my role and lead the country out of this mess,' he said.
Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia in September within hours of arriving home vowing to end Musharraf's rule after seven years in exile .
Commenting on the US decision to review billions of dollars of financial aid to close ally Pakistan following Musharraf's action, Sharif said: 'Just saying that we will review the aid is not enough.'
'I think the Western countries, especially the US, must condemn this in the strongest terms and must urge Musharraf to reverse all that he's done yesterday.'
He said Benazir Bhutto, another former prime minister who held months of talks with Musharraf on a power-sharing pact, 'should now in very clear terms announce that she will not negotiate with dictators and we will be very ready to co-operate with her, sit down with her”.
Sharif said the imposition of emergency rule was 'a very sad day for Pakistan', accusing Musharraf of 'holding the entire nation hostage for his personal motives.'
'This is not a state of emergency which has been declared by him, this is virtually martial law. He's now arrested thousands of people in Pakistan, hundreds of our political workers have been arrested ... The country seems to be heading towards anarchy,' he said.Reuters