Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader and former two-term Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday agreed to restore political stability in the Punjab province following a meeting of the two leaders in Raiwind near Lahore, media reports say.

The announcement came after former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, deposed during the 2007 emergency clamped by former president Parvez Musharraf, took over as the top judge Sunday, a week after the government succumbed to protests and international pressure that took the nuclear-armed nation to the brink of widespread civil unrest.

Stating that his party was ready to extend all cooperation to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Sharif told reporters that he would seek legal recourse for ending the emergency rule (Governor's rule) in Punjab and also on the issue of his non-eligibility from contesting polls. He said the PML-N is ready to support the PPP if the government repeals the 17th amendment.

On his part, the prime minister said both the PML-N and the PPP share the same view on the supremacy of parliament and implementation of a Charter of Democracy. We want to reconcile with the PML-N, Gilani told reporters after his meeting with Sharif.

Gilani said the political mandate in the Punjab province would be respected and the party with majority would be invited to form the government there.

Sharif last week led a laywers' 'long march' to demand the reinstatement of chief justice Chaudhry and the 60-odd judges of the apex and high courts Musharraf had sacked Nov 3, 2007.

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