Lahore: Amidst growing speculation about a delay in holding the next general election, former premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday warned that Pakistan would break up if another dictator takes over the country.
"Pakistan will break up in a matter of days, God forbid, if another dictator takes over the country," the PML-N chief told a news conference at his residence here.
Pakistan, he said, could not bear the impact of another dictatorship.
"Pakistan can remain united and progress with democracy. Its future lies in democracy. Terrorism and sectarianism will be addressed in a democracy," he said.
"We are reaping the crop of dictators and the Pakistan People`s Party-led government has pushed the country back 50 years in its five-year tenure."
The government is set to complete its term on March 16, following which a caretaker administration will be installed to oversee the next election.
Though the powerful army has dismissed reports that it could intervene and put in place a government of technocrats for a few years, political circles are abuzz with speculation that the polls may be delayed.
Referring to the appointment of a caretaker premier, Sharif said the PML-N will accept any candidate proposed by the PPP provided the person has a good reputation and is acceptable to all political forces.
"We will not press the PPP to accept the two names we are going to propose in case it (PPP) comes up with better names," he said.
Sharif said practical measures will have to be adopted to root out terrorism.
He further said the Supreme Court`s orders will have to be implemented to restore peace in Karachi, which has been hit by sectarian and political violence over the past few years.
"Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has observed that political parties in Karachi have militant wings but the parties did not abolish them," he said.
Sharif criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik for making "false" allegations about his younger brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, providing protection to activists of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
"Rehman Malik is levelling false allegations against others because law enforcement agencies have failed to protect the lives of people in Sindh and Balochistan," Sharif said.
Malik has accused the Punjab government of being soft on the LeJ, which has claimed a string of deadly attacks on the minority Shia sect in Quetta that killed nearly 200 people.