Boucher did discuss Pak judges issue with Asiz, Sharif in London: Paper

Washington, May 13 : Contradicting the claims by the US embassy in Islamabad that US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher had not discussed the judges restoration issue with PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif during his one-to-one meetings with the duo in London last week, the Globe and Mail today reported Boucher actually tried to make Zardari and Sharif agree on a formula for the restoration of the judges fired by President Pervez Musharraf in November.

Thus, Washington intervened in Pakistan's political crisis, the paper said and added that Boucher’s attempt delivered a strong message of concern over political infighting as Pakistan’s coalition government headed to the brink of collapse.

According to the Canadian paper, while the US officials denied that Boucher was mediating or imposing a solution on the Pakistani leaders regarding the judicial issue, western diplomats said he expressed deep frustration over the way the two-month-old Pakistan government had entangled itself in a constitutional wrangle, neglecting other pressing issues.

“The message is, ‘Get on with it. There's a major energy crisis, food price [increases] and terrorism,” the paper quoted a Western diplomat as saying.

Before flying back to Pakistan yesterday, an unhappy Sharif conceded: “There is deadlock. … I think every Pakistani is disappointed with the outcome of these talks.”

Although Sharif said that he will still support the government in parliament on an issue-by-issue basis, for now, in the hope that the judges issue will still be resolved, the move would renew the cleavage in Pakistani politics.

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Times, Rehman Malik, the Pakistan PM’s Adviser on Interior, reiterated that Boucher had no say in resolving the deadlock over the issue of judges’ restoration.(ANI)