LAHORE PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif says in democratic countries the president doesnt keep any party office with him, but President Asif Ali Zardari is following in the footsteps of Gen Musharraf who was the president, the army chief and the patron of the PML-Q at the same time. He said in an interview with TheNation (partly reported yesterday) that the PML-N had advised President Zardari at the very outset to quit the party office, but he didnt. The two-office controversy could have been ignored if the president had shown performance. But since he mismanaged everything, the issue has arisen more vigorously. Good governance covers up many weaknesses, said Mr Sharif, implying that since the president had failed to come up to peoples expectations the matter is not coming to an end. He recalled that former presidents Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Leghari and Rafiq Tarar had given up their party positions after taking over as heads of state. Asked if he would call upon the president to step down as co-chairperson of the party, the former prime minister said this was too small a demand compared to the enormity of the situation. About the failure of the government to comply with the Supreme Courts order and write a letter to the Swiss authorities about the alleged accounts of the president in Swiss banks, the former prime minister said the party in power was ridiculing all court verdicts. He said it was regrettable that instead of writing a letter, the government sent an ambassador to Geneva who brought back all 'boxes concerning the Swiss accounts. What the government is doing even today is continuation of the same mindset, a visibly upset former prime minister said. About unification of various factions of the Pakistan Muslim League, he said the PML-N had opened its doors to all those who had been 'forcibly roped into the PML-Q or were intimidated by former rulers to change loyalty. Some of such people, he said, had already rejoined the PML-N. Mr Sharif said he was willing to show flexibility on the subject, but would not compromise principles. I have no reservations about those who have not done anything against the party interests during Gen Musharrafs period. But, he made it clear that there was no room in the PML-N for those who stood by the dictator who had abrogated the Constitution, sacked judges of superior courts, house-arrested them and done numerous illegal things. The former prime minister said Gen Musharraf had written in his book that the PML-Q was his brainchild. He said in such a situation the people who had been saying time and again that they would re-elect the general as president-in-uniform ten times would find no place in the PML-N. This was a clear reference to the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, who have now become coalition partners with the PPP. When suggested that the unification process would be incomplete unless the Chaudhrys were also taken along as they had also many supporters in politics, the PML-N chief said this impression was totally baseless. Not many people are left with the Chaudhrys. The PML-Q has almost evaporated. They dont have a worthwhile vote bank, said Mr Sharif, implying that he gave no importance to the Chaudhrys. Substantiating his point, the former prime minister said that recently an election had been held in Gujrat where the Chaudhrys candidate had been defeated. The PML-N chief reiterated that he was very flexible a man who could be easily dealt with. But, he said, he would never barter his principles. He said he would take the 'like-minded people along. But at the same, he said, he would like to explode the myth that the PML-N would become stronger by taking other factions along. He said the PML-N had contested the 2008 election in a very difficult situation, but had done pretty well despite the fact that the rival PML-Q was being backed by Gen Musharraf and the entire administration. As things stand, the PML-Q is divided and drowned in corruption. We dont fear it for its alliance with a corrupt government. Asked if he subscribed to his younger brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharifs views that a revolution was needed to set the situation right, the PML-N chief said: A revolutionary thinking is the call of the hour. He said there was total degeneration in the country and the state institutions were in a state of inertia. People were not getting justice. I dont think the judiciary alone is responsible for this situation. All departments are also responsible. Public money is being wasted. Anything that can be easily purchased for Rs 100,000 is available for one million. Loot and plunder is going on. Corruption is rampant. Insensitivity is all around. According to him, either no effort is being made to set the situation right, or the required cooperation is not being extended. Well have to think whether a revolution is needed to change the situation or routine methods will serve the purpose. However, he was of the firm view that a 'revolutionary approach was needed. He said public pressure might be needed to reform the situation. Recalling his struggle for the restoration of the sacked judges, Mr Sharif said it was no short of a peaceful revolution.