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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani President accepts 'some' demands to end political crisis

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 13, IRNA -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has accepted some demands to end the deepening political crisis in the country which has shaken the whole system over the past few weeks, official sources said.

Opposition political parties and lawyers have planned to stage sit-in outside the parliament house in Islamabad from March 16 to press for the demand of the restoration of former Chief Justice Supreme Court and other judges sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf in 2007 when he imposed emergency rule.

Hundreds of political activists and lawyers have been arrested across the country to frustrate the long-march plan and the crackdown still continues.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani met President Zardari and floated some proposals to end the crisis and convince the opposition parties and lawyers to withdraw the long-march.

The crisis deepened last month when the Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from contesting election.

The apex court also disqualified his young brother Shehbaz Sharif, the chief minister of eastern Punjab, the biggest province. The decision brought to and end of his government.

The President Imposed central rule in Punjab province, the step strongly condemned by the opposition parties and even allies in the ruling coalition also opposed the move.

Sources said that the President has agreed to lift the governor rule in Punjab and to allow the majority party to form the government.

The U.S and Western nations are also concerned over the fast growing crisis in Pakistan and U.S envoy for Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and British Foreign Secretary David Milliband phoned President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to end crisis.

Sources said that the government may announce the decisions later today.

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