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Nawaz Sharif pulls out of Pakistani coalition

President Musharraf must be smiling, nay, positively laughing. For all their political life, the parties of Nawaz Sharif (Pakistan Muslim Leadue -N) and the Pakistan People’s Party of Asif Ali Zardari have been political opponents. They came together just a few months ago when neither of them got a majority in the last elections, and they needed to deny President Musharraf the political instability; hence they made the grand decision to form a coalition. Pakistan took a sigh of relief at this prospect, and welcomes the change of having a somewhat stable parliament. However, as of now, this seems to be a mirage:

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said ministers from his party will resign from their posts on Tuesday over differences regarding the reinstatement of judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf. However, he said his party would not take any decision that would strengthen what he called a “dictatorship” under Musharraf. “We will not be part of any conspiracy aimed at strengthening dictatorships,” he said.
Sharif expressed disappointment after the weekend talks with Zardari failed to resolve the deadlock. He said he made sincere efforts but the deadlock could not be broken.

It was somewhat clear from the beginning that Nawaz Sharif would push for the reinstatement of judges who were kicked out by Musharraf when he had again taken over by dismissing the constitution in the second half of last year. He was the one who had the least to lose; President Musharraf is under the threat of his election as President being challenged and maybe set aside by the previous Chief Justice. Zardari faces the risk of the law that saved him from corruption trials being rules as unlawful.
For some time it seemed that Zardari would back down and let the judges come back to the Court (none of this had resolved the logistical issues of what would happen to the existing judges on the Supreme Court); but it seems like he finally decided that he could not take the risk of his amnesty being removed – he would need the shield of that amnesty once he decides that he wants to be the Prime Minister.

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