ISLAMABAD The dramatic shift in the PML-Ns stance regarding appointment of judges in the higher judiciary on Thursday has squarely hit efforts of the PPP-led coalition Government to get proposed 18th constitutional amendment bill passed by the Parliament during this month. I have requested Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to resolve the issue with the Chief Justice so that independence of the judiciary is adequately ensured, PML-N Chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif told a press conference here at the Punjab House. He was of the view that there was no harm in making serious efforts to evolve the consensus over the crucial issue relating to the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary. There should be no hurry on such important matters even if it takes 10 to 15 days in evolving the consensus over this issue, Nawaz Sharif said adding it would be much better if the opposition was also involved in the process to resolve the issue. He said that he had conveyed his partys reservations to the Prime Minister and requested him to address these concerns before tabling the proposed constitutional package in the Parliament. Nawaz Sharif regretted that the dream of repealing 17th amendment could not be fulfilled and said, Our recommended constitutional amendments have been disregarded completely. He elaborated his argument saying that the authority to appoint judges should not rest with an individual and not even with the President or the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The judges appointment should be made in consultations with the Chief Justice, he advised. When asked whether he foresaw any threat to democratic dispensation, he said in the presence of the vibrant Parliament, independent judiciary and media there was no threat to the democratic dispensation. On being further probed whether the dramatic shift in his partys stance was meant hamper the much publicised address of the President to the joint session, Nawaz Sharif said that his party wanted that the President must fulfil this constitutional obligation but after complete consensus on the 118th amendment. He further said that his partys Parliamentarians would exhibit patience in case the President would deliver the scheduled address to the joint session, adding there should be a consensus among the Opposition, Government and judiciary on the issue of judges appointment. PML-N Chief suggested that Mian Raza Rabbani and Ishaq Dar should sit with the Chief Justice to consult him on the procedure of the judges appointment. He was of the opinion that vested interests had hijacked the matter of the constitutional reforms and the dream of complete annulment of the 17th amendment was still not materialising. Nawaz Sharif called for increasing number of the judges and it should be greater than the number of government officials in the judicial commission responsible for recommending the names of judges to be elevated in the superior courts. Referring to the issue of renaming of NWFP, he said that his party was not against any group but wanted that the NWFP should be given such a name all the ethnic groups living in the province agreed upon. We want that the new name for NWFP should be recommended with the consensus, the PML-N Chief said. When asked, has he changed his mind in supporting the ANP demand to replace NWFP with Pukhtoonkhewa and Pukhtunistan after NWFP chapter of his party had threatened to resign from the basic membership of the party, Nawaz Sharif said that the issue is needed to be resolved amicably. He expressed his disappointment over the Government apathy in talking the Opposition on board with regard to the ongoing US-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington, saying neither he nor the Opposition was taken on board on the most important talks. We are unaware of what is being discussed in Washington, Nwaz Sharif said while replying to a question about the importance being given to Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kiani in the strategic dialogue. He said that the Government should have taken the nation into confidence before starting the dialogue. Is it not the responsibility of the Government to take the nation on board while initiating talks with India or any other foreign power, he question.