02/21/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Islamabad: talks underway for a new government

The People’s Party and the Muslim League-N are united in their desire to remove Musharraf. The president, who might be impeached for last November’s coup, urges parties to “work together”.

Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) have begun talks to form a coalition government. A first point on which both sides agree is President Musharraf’s removal. He might have to choose between resigning or facing impeachment for last November’s coup.

Nothing is known as to what else the two parties will discuss. For instance the issue of who will be prime minister must be decided since the election did not settle the matter.

Asif Zardari, the PPP’s pro-temp leader, ruled himself out, whilst PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, who has been prime minister twice before, cannot be appointed to the office without constitutional changes.

Mr Sharif has said he is prepared to discuss joining a coalition with Mr Zardari's party in order “to rid Pakistan of dictatorship forever”.

Mr Zardari has said his party could work with regional parties which support Mr Musharraf.

For his part the president urged the winners to work towards a stable democratic government in Pakistan.

He also acknowledged the polls had strengthened moderate forces inside the country.

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