April 29, 2008

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 9:06 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008



Zardari terms Murree accord a political statement

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 9:05 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008



Updated at  
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
PPP co-chairman says parliament to debate constitutional package, resolution together; the process may take two weeks; talks to Dr Shahid Masood in Geo’s ‘Meray Mutabiq’

News Desk
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday went back on his word about judges’ restoration in 30 days, agreed in the Murree Declaration.

Talking to Dr Shahid Masood in a Geo News programme “Meray Mutabiq”, he said what he along with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif announced in Murree was just a political statement and it could be interpreted in different ways.

He said, “What he said was not a Hadith and the Murree Declaration was just a political agreement.” He said the countdown for judges’ return was being carried out only by Geo that was off the air and his party restored it. When reminded that the ban on Geo was lifted before the elections, he said the channel was restored without its main actors. He told Dr Shahid Masood that you yourself were among those who were removed from the scene.

He said his government would never ban private TV channels for airing dissenting views. He said, in clear terms, that a resolution and an executive order for judges’ restoration would be accompanied by a constitutional package and these would be debated by parliament thoroughly.

When asked how many more days this process could take, he said at least two weeks. However, he did not commit to this deadline either. He said no existing judge of the Supreme Court would be shown the door.

When pointed out that in this case the number of judges would swell to unprecedented level, he said the population of the country has increased so there was a need for a larger Supreme Court.

He said the deposed judges return was not his mission, though he wanted to solve this problem because he thought that an injustice had been committed. He said the restoration of the judges is a complex issue and experts need time to sort it out. He said the question arises if an executive order is issued for the return of the judges and the court issues a stay order, then what would be the recourse.

He frequently referred to the excesses he faced during his eight-year confinement. He said he and his friends remained victim of the judiciary. He said the Supreme Court reverted a case against him to the accountability court despite the fact that he had already undergone the sentence. The accountability court judge, he remarked, told him that when a superior court could not give him justice, he would take the case afresh.

He said though it was not mentioned in the Murree Declaration, the judges were released by a single statement of the PPP premier. He disagreed with the view that the winds of change in the country started blowing following the historic no of the deposed chief justice to President Musharraf and the subsequent movement by lawyers.

He said the people did not vote for a lawyer whose both legs were broken and another PPP lawyer Zamurad Khan whose hand was broken during the lawyers’ movement. He said people have given them vote for ‘Roti, Kapra Aur Makan’ and not for judges’ restoration.

He said neither he wanted nor he thought that Nawaz Sharif would part ways with him after April 30, the original deadline for the restoration of the judges. He said his main agenda is reconciliation and the restoration of the judges was only a part of it. He said he visited the graves of erstwhile rivals in the spirit of reconciliation.

He said not a single megawatt was added to the electricity in the country during the last eight years. He said he wanted to take stock of the economic situation of the country. He said he had applied for tickets to the party and may contest polls from Larkana and a few seats from the Punjab. However, he said the final decision in this regard would be taken later.

Zardari said he wanted to see Aitzaz in parliament, though the latter boycotted the elections. The decision about awarding ticket to Aitzaz, he said, would be taken by the party board. He said he did not want to become prime minister even if he decided to contest the polls and became a member of parliament.

He categorically said that Yousuf Raza Gilani would remain premier for five years. If he wanted to get this slot, he would have got it in the beginning as a matter of his right, Zardari said. He said a sort of post-mortem of late Benazir Bhutto was undertaken at the Rawalpindi Hospital and the establishment kept the report secret. He said the concerned doctors would be asked about this in due course of time. He said he did not want Musharraf to continue as president for five years.

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APRIL 29, 2008


Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 8:45 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008

IT is unfortunate that while the ruling coalition is trying hard to find a solution to the judicial crisis, the PML-Q continues to fish in troubled waters. Mushahid Hussain Syed, the party’s Secretary General, certainly washes dirty linen in public when he expressed the view that President Musharraf made a wrong decision in sacking the judges. At the time he was part and parcel of the regime but it is quite strange that he chose to turn a blind eye to that wrong. Perhaps, he could have done something back then, as he had a lot of ears to air his reservations. And that would have been the right time to change loyalties as well, so to speak. Not only that. The harsh treatment meted out to the judges was another issue wanting the PML-Q’s attention. The country’s Chief Justice was treated as if he was a criminal, the law enforcement agencies manhandled him and he and his family was kept under house arrest for months. One would have expected the PML-Q leadership to speak out then.
Likewise, illogical are the statements by the PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain, who said that he would table a resolution in the National Assembly if the present coalition failed to resolve the crisis. One wonders what his government was up to when the judges were deposed and arrested? Indeed the party was itself the architect of that plan, as it knew well that President Musharraf was their lifeline and therefore every hurdle coming in the way had to be removed. Not surprisingly, their desire to pull the chestnuts out of the country’s fire especially for their leadership reeks of hypocrisy. It goes without saying that in essence, such statements at such a time only prove the PML-Q’s desire to blow the wind out of the government’s sails.
More important is the fact that, as the lawyers’ movement for an independent judiciary seems to gain more and more popularity and attract media attention, the PML-Q wants to cash in on the opportunity. However, hopefully the party had better refrain from poking its nose into a problem that is for the public to decide. The government would be aware of such developments and would hopefully pull out all stops to find a way out of the judicial crisis. No doubt, the judicial mess is a legacy of the previous government led by the PML-Q, but the new leadership has a duty to iron things out. It was in reality for this very issue that the public accorded a heavy mandate to them. A successful conclusion of the problem would also be the best answer to the abovementioned tall claims by the PML-Q. 


Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 8:42 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008

Filed under: FOREIGN RELATIONS,NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 8:39 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008

PPP, PML-N fail to break impasse

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 8:37 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008
Abrar Saeed
ISLAMABAD – Both Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan Peoples Party leaders dealing with the complex issue of restoration of the judges stuck to their guns and the Dubai meeting between them was put off without breaking the impasse.
The sources privy to the developments of the meeting, in which the proposals formulated by the seven-member committee by the two sides to hammer out differences on the issue, were discussed between PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML(N) President Mian Shahbaz Sharif along with their aides failed to break the ice and left the negotiation table empty handed.
The sources said that though the Dubai meeting had failed to make any headway on the core issue of restoration of the judges to pre-November 3 position, still the two sides were away from the breakup position and the parties could enter into second round on Tuesday (today).
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was assisted in the meeting by Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H. Naik, who is also the chairman of the committee heading the seven-member committee tasked to work out solution on the judges issue by both the sides, and Rehman Malik, while PML(N) President Mian Shahbaz Sharif was assisted in the talks by Senior Federal Minister for Communications Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Kh. Asif.
The two sides had a marathon session spread over several hours before they left the talks inconclusive before the dinner. Later, both the sides had dinner together but there was no official word about the meeting and it was also not announced whether they were meeting again on Tuesday (today) or not.
The interviews with the political leadership of both the parties back in the country and the sources close to the development taking place on the national political horizon were of the view that now the matter of restoration of the judges before the cutoff date of April 30 was impossible, however, the two sides could give some definite date for tabling of the resolution for restoration of judges before the National Assembly by that date.
The sources in the main coalition partners in the ruling alliance disclosed to The Nation that the deadlock was again on linkage of the resolution with the constitutional package for the judiciary and PPP was not ready to take the two separately.
On the other hand the PML(N) side headed by its President Mian Shahbaz Sharif had also put his foot down and refused to get the two – resolution and constitutional package – linked and made it clear to PPP side that the resolution and the constitutional package were two separate things and both must be treated separately.
It was further informed that on the constitutional package too there was a deadlock as PML(N) were opposed to slashing down the tenure of the judges and simply wanted the restoration of the superior courts judges to pre-November 3 position.
But on the other hand PPP side wanted to get the resolution linked with the constitutional package and insisted that the two should be tabled simultaneously in the Lower House of Parliament.
There was also difference between the two sides over the cutoff date for tabling of the matter before the National Assembly as PML(N) side was of the view that the 30 days countdown started with the formation of the Federal Government while PPP took it as the completion of the provincial governments which was completed by the installation of the Punjab Cabinet last week. PPP leadership argued that the Federal Government was completed after the installation of governments in all the four federating units.
In the face of the stalemate in the talks, which could result in a complete breakup, the parties back home had started doing their homework to cope with the situation in case of the worst situation – the split in the ruling alliance.
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) was under tremendous pressure to leave the ministries in case the judges were not restored as promised and in this connection the sources were of the view that Mian Nawaz Sharif would come up with his policy statement either on Tuesday or Wednesday after having the detailed briefing on the matter by his team on return from Dubai.
Mian Nawaz Sharif had made it clear on a number of occasions that in case the deadline for the restoration of the judges was not met, then they would leave the Federal Cabinet but would continue extending unconditional support to the ruling alliance.
On the other hand to meet any eventuality as a result of breakup of talks on judges issue the PPP side had rushed into a deal with MQM and the latter had announced joining the PPP government in Sindh Province giving some solace to the former.

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 8:33 pm
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APRIL 29, 2008

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APRIL 29, 2008

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