Pakistan's main political parties on Monday stepped up their war of words, with opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif asking the people to rise up and join him in a 'revolution' against President Asif Ali Zardari's regime and the ruling Pakistan People's Party criticising the politics of confrontation.
PML-N president and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif ruled out any reconciliation with Zardari till he gave up his controversial powers to dissolve the parliament and reinstate the judges sacked during the 2007 emergency by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
The Sharif brothers, who have been barred by the Supreme Court from holding elected office, sharpened their attack on Zardari, whom they have held responsible for the verdict. Addressing a rally at Narowal in Punjab, Nawaz asked the people to join the PML-N in ushering in a 'revolution' against the current regime.
Accusing Zardari of continuing the policies of the former military regime, he said, "Musharraf's spirit has entered Zardari and he is doing the same things as Musharraf".
Referring to the judges who had delivered the verdict against him and Shahbaz, he said, "These are Musharraf's hand-picked judges and they have been embraced by Zardari".
Information Minister Sherry Rehman, also a close aide of Zardari, said 'inflexible confrontational politics posed a grave danger to Pakistan's hard-earned democratic federal dispensation'.
Shortly after the Sharif brothers were barred from holding elected office by the apex court last week, Zardari unseated the PML-N government in Punjab by imposing governor's rule in the politically crucial province.
"He (Zardari) has imposed governor's rule and disqualified us, but the PPP will be defeated in Punjab. The PML-N still enjoys majority in Punjab," Nawaz said. He urged people to join a campaign, to be launched by the lawyers' movement this month, to press for the restoration of the deposed judges.