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Pakistani Coalition Holds Post-Musharraf Talks བོད་སྐད།


Leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition government are meeting in Islamabad, a day after they successfully pressured President Pervez Musharraf to resign from office. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad that it appears the leaders are not considering prosecuting the former president for alleged crimes he committed while in office.

Last week, when political opponents of the former president said they were drawing up a long list of impeachable crimes he allegedly committed while in office, several political factions indicated they would drop future criminal prosecutions if the president resigned.

The exception was the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, whose leader, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was overthrown by then General Musharraf in 1999, convicted and imprisoned on corruption and other charges and then sent into exile in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Pakistan last year.

On Tuesday, as he headed into talks with other coalition leaders in Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif struck a soft tone when he was asked about putting his longtime political opponent on trial. He says it is not a personal issue for him and it does not mean that the person who ousted him should face the same fate.

Although no officials have confirmed Pervez Musharraf left office as part of a deal guaranteeing he would not be prosecuted, there is a widespread belief that legal immunity was one of his key demands for stepping down.

The coalition talks in Islamabad Tuesday are mainly expected to focus on choosing the country's next president and what to do about the senior judges that the former president deposed, last year.

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