Ummid Assistant

Taj Group to train underprivileged rural youth in Maharashtra

Robotics competition for Andhra school students

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Politics

For exiled Sharif, returning home was 'matter of time'

Monday May 13, 2013 05:15:31 PM, Prashant Sood, IANS

Related Article

Pakistan Elections

Nawaz Sharif set to lead Pakistan for third time

Nawaz Sharif, who has twice been Pakistan's prime minister, is set to lead the country for the third time after unofficial results placed his party in a comfortable position 

World leaders felicitate Nawaz Sharif

Manmohan Singh congratulates Nawaz Sharif, invites him to India

Pakistanis brave terror threat, turn up to vote

Pakistan's poll environment encouraging: EU mission

Those were his days of forced political wilderness and an uncertain future but Nawaz Sharif was confident of his moves and his return to Pakistan. Sharif appeared relaxed and assured when I met him in a small flat in central London in the winter of 2007, coolly guiding his party members in Pakistan on agitational tactics against the then Musharraf regime.

The leader, who is set to lead Pakistan for a third time as prime minister following his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) impressive performance in the elections, was eagerly awaiting a return to his country.

Sharif was bemused to see an Indian journalist walk into his office in London when he was not much written about in India. His staff put up some resistance in letting me through but I was confident that Sharif would not say no once he knew that an Indian journalist had come to seek an interview.

Sharif got to know about my presence and asked his staff to let me into his room. He agreed to a formal interview at a later date.

During the brief conversation in his office, Sharif asked me about political leaders commanding wide respect in India. The talk veered towards Bollywood and he made a remark about the movies being watched in Pakistan. His phone kept ringing in between and he directed his party activists about the course of action they need to follow on the prevailing situation in the country. His office, manned by his loyalists, was equipped with sophisticated equipment, including a paper-shredder.

Sharif was ousted in a 1999 military coup by former Pakistan Army chief, Gen Pervez Musharraf, and was jailed and exiled. He went to exile in Saudi Arabia and returned to Pakistan in 2007 ahead of elections in 2008.

Sharif arrived on the appointed hour for the interview in a park in central London. He had security escorts but their numbers were not intimidating. We walked together briefly and sat across a table in a restaurant for a question and answer session.

Sharif was forthright about his distrust of Musharraf but was not very bitter. He referred to Musharraf's regime as "dictatorship" and "one-man rule" and expressed apprehension about the possibility of fair general elections under his watch.

He was also unhappy with the West as he felt it was not doing enough to strengthen democracy in Pakistan despite its loud championing of democracy.

Sharif disclosed during the interview that he was astonished to hear from then US president Bill Clinton during his visit to Washington, during the 1999 Kargil War, that nuclear arsenal was being moved out of the Sargodha air force base station to be used in the conflict.

Sharif said he was not aware of any such move that was against the nuclear policy of Pakistan.

He also reiterated about not being aware of the Kargil intrusion by the Pakistan Army under Musharrraf.

Sharif dwelt on the need of uninterrupted democracy in Pakistan and said dictatorship in his country was responsible for the negative reports about the country, including those in the British media, that many of those then held on terrorism charges had been trained in Pakistan.

He conveyed his determination to return home and said it was only a "matter of time".

Sharif said Pakistan was a country where he was born, grew up, spent his youth, his life and nobody had the authority to keep him away from his country.

Sharif served as Pakistan's prime minister for two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 to October 1999. Both governments were dismissed before completing their constitutional term.



(Prashant Sood can be contacted at prashant.s@ians.in)

 





 


 





 

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

More Headlines

Consumer price inflation decelerates to 9.39 percent

Half of remittances from Gulf nations went to India

Nine cops suspended, Lucknow crime branch disbanded for robbery

Court orders CBI probe into Bengal custodial death

Tips to protect eyes from heat

Shooting during Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, 19 injured

Bansal 'threatens' scribe, press club seeks apology

Two-year-old sexually assaulted by neighbour in Delhi

Kuwait gets first batch of female paramedics

Clean-shaven look passe! Women prefer men with styled facial hair

Congress rule in Karnataka from Monday, after 9-year gap

Malaysian pilot on world record attempt in Kolkata

 

Top Stories

Pakistan Elections

Nawaz Sharif set to lead Pakistan for third time

Nawaz Sharif, who has twice been Pakistan's prime minister, is set to lead the country for the third time after unofficial results placed his party in a comfortable position 

World leaders felicitate Nawaz Sharif

Manmohan Singh congratulates Nawaz Sharif, invites him to India

Pakistanis brave terror threat, turn up to vote

Pakistan's poll environment encouraging: EU mission

 

  Most Read

Congress rule in Karnataka from Monday, after 9-year gap

This is the first time in Karnataka that a chief minister will be sworn-in at a stadium as work on metro rail has taken up much of space in front of the Vidhana Soudha, the majestic state  

Cabinet Reshuffle

Will Kerala get its ninth berth in union cabinet?

With two cabinet ministers quitting in the wake of scandals, there is likelihood that Kerala, which currently has eight members in the cabinet, could get a ninth one. There is speculation  

 

  News Pick

Dhaka building collapse toll reaches 1,126

More than two weeks after an eight-storey building collapsed in the Bangladesh capital, the death toll approached 1,200 Sunday, officials said. Tarekul Alam of the Dhaka district administration's control room told Xinhua that  

Sonia Gandhi to lay foundation stone of Jamia Millia's new hostel

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will Tuesday lay the foundation stone of a new hostel for girls at the Jamia Millia Islamia here, an official statement 

Police unearth Rs.750 crore assets of Saradha chief

Police have unearthed property worth Rs.750 crore so far by quizzing chit fund-aided Saradha Group's arrested promoter Sudipa Sen and his top aides, an official said Saturday. Six motorcycles with red beacons and hooters allegedly 

Now get Umrah visa through online application

Minister of Haj Dr. Bandar Hajjar said that Umrah visas can now be obtained electronically thanks to the activation of an international e-network.  

 

Picture of the Day

Parvez Naikwadi (left) and Shakeel Ansari met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Moday. The two are among the 30 Muslims who have  cleared the 2012 UPSC Mains Exams. Also seen in the picture is Minister of Minority Development Department Arif Naseem Khan.

 

Recommend the story to your friends

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

The Funny Side

Education & Career

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.