Pakistan People's Party chief Asif Ali Zardari has apologised to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif, who pulled out of the ruling coalition after accusing the PPP of reneging on promises and asked him to rejoin the government for the sake of the country and democracy.
In a message aired on state-run PTV hours after Sharif withdrew the PML-N from the coalition on Monday, Zardari said: "I regret that we have failed in the democratic journey we started with my late wife Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif...We had some successes. Together we elected a prime minister and defeated a dictator."
"It is unfortunate that he (Sharif) has refused to travel with us in the coming journey," Zardari said in the message, which was beamed by TV channels in full after midnight.
Admitting that Sharif's feelings had been "hurt", Zardari asked the PML-N chief to set aside "personal differences" and return to the coalition "in the interest of democracy and Pakistan."
While announcing his decision to pull out of the coalition, Sharif had accused Zardari of violating several agreements on reinstating dozens of judges who were sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf during last year's emergency.
Sharif also said Zardari had violated another agreement that said the PPP would not field a presidential candidate till the post was stripped of controversial powers to dismiss Parliament.