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Pakistan's Sharif calls for elections to be held as scheduled on Jan. 8

Pakistan's Sharif calls for elections to be held as scheduled on Jan. 8

Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif said Monday that Pakistan's parliamentary elections should be held Jan. 8 as scheduled despite the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
He also said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should resign and be replaced by a national unity government.
"He is a one-man calamity. He is responsible for all the trouble in Pakistan. The country is burning," he said.
Sharif spoke as it began to appear that the government would delay the parliamentary election, which had been touted as a crucial landmark in restoring democracy to this nuclear armed country.
"No one among us wants elections to go beyond Jan. 8," Sharif told a news conference in Lahore.
The former prime minister accused Musharraf of trying to escape from participating in the election and using the Election Commission as a tool for delaying the poll.
Sharif said that if he is elected as prime minister he would not work with Musharraf, and he called on the international community to withdraw its support for the former army chief who seized power in a 1999 coup that overthrew Sharif's government.
"The United States should see that Musharraf have not limited or curbed terrorism. In fact terrorism is now stronger than ever before with more sinister aspects," he said.
Musharraf is seen as a key U.S. ally in the fight against the resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida. The Islamic militants have become increasingly active along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan in recent months.
"The international community should not antagonize the people of Pakistan for the sake of one man. It should support democracy. It should support political parties that are farsighted and pragmatic and can play a constructive role in putting Pakistan on a path of moderation," he said. "With Musharraf in power, Pakistan does not have a future."


Updated : 2021-01-20 18:33 GMT+08:00