Sharif 'most trusted man' of Saudi royal family in Pak: PML-N

These remarks by a senior PML-N leader came amid release of secret US cables by WikiLeaks, which showed that Sharif broke a promise made to the royal family by issuing political statements from Saudi Arabia while he was living there in self-exile and by visiting Pakistan in 2005 in violation of an agreement not to return to the country for 10 years.

"Yes there may have been some misunderstanding between Sharif and the Saudi royal family at that time but now he is Saudi Arabia's favourite and most trusted man in Pakistan," the PML-N leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told PTI.

The cables released by the whistle-blowing website say Saudi Arabia's royal family historically disliked the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and feared that its chief, President Asif Ali Zardari -- who is a Shia Muslim -- could be part of a Shia triangle with Nur-al-Maliki's government in Iraq and Mahmoud Ahmedinajad's regime in Iran.

This has affected the flow of financial aid and an agreement to provide oil to Pakistan at concessionary terms. Zardari has built strong ties with Iran, which is one of the reasons for Saudi Arabia's disapproval, the cables revealed.

The PML-N leader said Pakistan's "cordial" relations with Saudi Arabia would be back on track "once we get rid of the Zardari regime."

He added: "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be fast friends again."Addressing a public gathering yesterday, former premier Sharif was very critical of the PPP-led government at the centre.

He claimed that Pakistan is facing numerous problems because of the ill-conceived policies of President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

Power cuts, unemployment and terrorism are the outcome of such policies, Sharif said.
He said Musharraf implicated him in several cases and it was "divine justice" that he (Sharif) was now living among his own people and the former military dictator was living in exile.Sharif said the "former rulers wanted to hang him."

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