Pakistani PM, Opposition Leader Agree on Reconciliation

Shahbaz Sharif Would Return as Punjab Chief

After yet another day of talks, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif have reportedly agreed to make a reconciliation pledge. Though the exact terms of the agreement have yet to be finalized, the two seemed set to restore the PML-N government in the Punjab Province, with Shahbaz Sharif returning as chief minister assuming the Supreme Court overturns its previous ban against him.

Since the two parties have reconciled, the ruling Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) has pressed the Supreme Court to overturn the ban on the Sharif brothers. Though the Supreme Court has defended its verdict, declaring that the elder Sharif was “not a sagacious, righteous, or honest person,” the return of Chief Justice Ifthkar Muhammad Chaudhry and a popular and political consensus are seen as likely to overturn the ban.

The February ban against the Sharif brothers holding political office led to President Zardari placing the Punjab Province under governor’s rule, sparking weeks of violent protests which culminated in the long march on the capital, the restoration of Chaudhry and the reconciliation talks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.