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Pakistan's Sharif warns of anti-govt march

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 28,IRNA -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif Monday threatened anti-government march, accusing the government of its failure to check corruption and solve the people's problems.

Tension between Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari has increased after the last week’s sacking of PPP ministers from the cabinet in Punjab province, ruled by Sharif’s party.

“If necessary, the PML-N will start another ‘long march’ with the country’s revolutionary youth,” Sharif told party’s leaders and activists in the city of Lahore.

Sharif had led a massive long-march in March 2009 which resulted into the restoration of top judges, sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf after they refused loyalty to him.

Sharif also criticized President Zardari for allowing Musharraf to leave the country in 2008, adding that President Asif Zardari had asked him to “support former president Pervez Musharraf’s unconstitutional measures”.

“Pakistan is losing wealth as a result of corruption,” Sharif said, adding that instead of relying on the country’s resources, the government is depending on foreign aid.

“If the government had worked on reforming Pakistan’s economy, there would not have been a need for American aid”, he said.

The PML-N leader said billions of rupees are being misappropriated every year through corrupt deals and foreign aid being preferred over the national resources.

“Now, we are dependent on foreign aid,” he regretted.

The ruling PPP has also angrily reacted to Sharif’s long-march threat and a PPP Senator Faisal Raza Abidi says that such threats could create political chaos.

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