LAHORE - Despite the agreement on an 11-point declaration, the marathon meeting between the two top leaders, PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N Chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, faced a standoff on the issue of removing the legal bar on becoming prime minister for a third time. According to insiders, the meeting was scheduled to be concluded in two hours but it had to be extended for another two hours as both sides made their last ditch efforts to reach an agreement to repeal the particular amendment introduced by Musharraf whereby a person who had held the office of prime minister twice was barred from holding the same for a third term. The meeting ended with a deadlock without any solid commitment on the issue from the PPP. An insider revealed that the PML-N leaders tried their best to convince President Asif Ali Zardari and his team that if PPP wanted to have close relations with their party, the PPP-led government had to abrogate the constitutional hurdle as all other snags in the way of Nawaz Sharif to become the prime minister again had been removed after his acquittal in the helicopter tax evasion and plane hijacking cases. He said President Asif Ali Zardari avoided making any commitment, saying all undemocratic amendments in the Constitution would have to go. It may be recalled that no leader in Pakistan has ever held the prime minister office. Nawaz Sharif will make the history if he is again elected as the premier after the removal of the constitutional hurdle. YASIR HABIB KHAN