Tag Archives: PPP

Pakistan Violence Strikes At Prime Minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani survived an assassination attempt when gun men tried to shoot him while in his car. Meanwhile, the car carrying Lynne Tracy, the key American diplomat in the northwest region, was also fired upon as she drove to her office. There undoubtedly will be further attempts to kill important political figures in the Pakistan government which is confronting new conflict as a result of the collapse of its coalition government. Pakistan prosecutors said they were proceeding with investigating corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N who made the fatal mistake of quitting the coalition government led by Asif Zardari.

Both Sharif and Zardari have been charged in the past with being guilty of corruption. As part of their agreement with former President Musharraf, the charges were suspended when they returned to Pakistan. Sharif wanted former Supreme Court justices who wee fired by Musharraf to be restored to office, but Zardari refused to do what he had promised. He fears the restored judges would investigate corruption of him so the solution was keeping them out of office.

The real question to ask of Pakistan political leaders is– can they form a government which has men and women who have previously not been charged with corruption?

Pakistan Hovers On Brink Of New Crisis

Within days after President Musharraf resigned and helped to avoid a constitutional crisis, friction within the ruling coalition threatens to create still another divisive issue that can tear apart the nation. Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has warned the government he will end the coalition unless supreme court judges who were discharged by President Musharraf are immediate restored to their office “We have asked them to tell us by Saturday whether or not judges can be restored by Monday.” Sharif also believes he was given assurances when he entered the coalition that powers of the president would be reduced and no such move has as yet been made.

Pakistan People’s Party co-chair, Asif Ali Zardarihas resisted carrying out demands of the PML-N. “Political parties do not make promises, they only arrive at understandings” and added, “sometimes 50% successful, and sometimes more than that.” There is no indication Zardari will go through with either reducing the power of the president now that he is the prime candidate to win that position. There are also reports Zaradari, who was charged with corruption, wants immediate restoration of the supreme court judges unless he can obtain assurances the court will not rule to convict him of those charges.

Musharraf Blames Opponents For Pakistan Problems

After announcing his resignation, President Musharraf of Pakistan told his nation he had worked to maintain constitutional government and current problems have been caused by political parties. He emphasized his decision to resign was due to his concern over averting a constitutional crisis and did not stem from any wrong doing on his part. “To me, Pakistan was always first, it remains so and will always be first.” He made clear his opposition to any form of “horse trading” because he did not wish to subject his friends in the armed forces in any political infighting. The outgoing president blamed the current government for what he termed an “economic meltdown” and argued any current economic problems began when the current political coalition assumed office.

President Musharraf is gone but large problems remain that cannot be blamed on his administrative leadership. It is still unclear if Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People’s Party will seek the office of president, but Zardai made clear, as far as he was concerned, “let bygones by bygones” and he would not seek any judicial action against the departing president.

President Musharraf To Resign Tomorrow

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is expected to announce his resignation from office tomorrow on Independence Day. This information was conveyed to the Daily Times of Islamabad by a senior official in the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid which supports the president. The agreement dealing with his resignation indicates if he resigns prior to any impeachment process, he will be granted safe passage and allowed to leave the country without any punishment. There are reports President Musharraf is being urged in his resignation statement to apologize to the nation for sacking members of the Supreme Court last fall.

It is understood if he resigns President Musarraf will remain in the office of president for several days until he is able to formally shift power to the new president. He most probably will remain in his home for a few weeks and then leave the nation.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People’s Party, made known he expects the resignation within the coming days and once it is announced he will bring together all parties in his coalition and work out who will become the president. Some sources suggest Zardari might assume that office, but this is still at a rumor stage.

Pakistan Disputes Center Around Musharraf Judges

President Musharraf arranged for the return of Benzair Bhutto as well as that of Nawaz Sharif with the understanding both would be allowed to participate in the political arena despite the fact both had been convicted of prior crimes against the state. Sharif is leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and placed his name in nomination to run for a seat in parliament but the court which was appointed by President Musharaff turned down the request on grounds he had a prior conviction. This has aroused the fury of both the PML-N and the governing Pakistan People’s Party which regard the court decision as invalid.

Pakistan can ill afford a constitutional crisis at this moment in its existence. Hopefully, calm voices will find a way for Nawaz to engage in politics without the need for street demonstrations and threats. It is time for Musharraf to display leadership by urging the courts to change their decision.

Constitutional Crisis In Pakistan

Turmoil in Pakistan continued as a three judge court appointed under the administration of President Musharaff denied former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the right to run for parliament in an upcoming by-election. Nawaz, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League-N, had returned to Pakistan along with Benazir Bhutto with the understanding past misdeeds would be forgotten and he could participate in politics. The court ruling was based on a prior conviction before the coup led by President Musharraf. AS Nasim Zahra of Harvard noted, “The ruling will undermine, in a major way, the effort for national reconciliation.”

Nawaz Sharif has been allied with Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the slain Benazir Bhutto, in a combined effort to restore parliamentary government to Pakistan. They both agree that judges who were discharged by President Musharraf would be restored to office, and those who replaced them would be discharged. However, Zardari has proceeded at a slower pace since he wants to deal with the entire court issue as part of a package dealing with constitutional reform. This latest example of Musharraf judges interfering with political life will runs the risk of ending the coalition and creating more turmoil.

Is President Musharraf A Relic Of The Past?

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party, told the India Trust that President Musharraf was a “relic of the past” and there is tremendous pressure on the new Pakistan government to ensure his ouster from office. The people were telling his party, “we don’t want bread, we don’t want electricity, but we want him out.” Zardari complained that for months he has been attempting to avoid a constitutional crisis and find a way to reconcile the demands for ouster of Musharraf with national needs for continuity, but the pressure was simply mounting for action on the position of President Musharraf. Although, Musharraf has taken off his uniform, he is stil regarded as a military man who endeavored to keep power in his hand while refusing to recognize other institutions like the Pakistan court system.

Zardari discussed Pakistan needs for reconciliation with India and devlopment of energy projects in border regions which would be benefial to both nations, but “I cannot work if there is an impasse between myself and the president.”

President Musharraf told leaders of his party that he would not continue in office if he was merely a “relic of the past.” Perhaps, both sides have now reached a common understanding of what must be done to move ahead.

Pakistan Still Divided Over Musharraf Legacy

The legacy of President Musharraf’s actions last fall when he fired most members of the Pakistan Supreme Court continue to divide Pakistan political leaders. Nawaz Sharif, head of the PML-N party insists he told Zardari, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party that he would not join the coalition government unless there was agreement all judges sacked by Musharraf would be restored by May 12. Failure on the part of Zardari to take this step led to Nawaz resigning from the coalition government.

Esentially, Zardari argues the original sacking was illegal and an attempt to now fire judges appointed by Musharraf would also be illegal. He wants the present group of judges to remain even as the sacked judges are restored to their positions. He fears creating a constitutional crisis since the government is working to end conflict in the northwest region with Islamic militants.

There is no question this is a critical moment in Pakistan history and there is need for a coalition government which can resolve conflicts in the northwest and end militant attacks. Perhaps, at the back of his mind is a hope that President Musharraf in the coming months will resign and allow resolution of the judge issues.

Pakistan Turmoil Over Judges Upsets Unity

President Musharraf last fall removed several judges from the Pakistan Supreme Court because they opposed his attempts to gain complete power. The judges were replaced by another set of judges who were sympathetic to the demands of the president. The Pakistan Muslim League-N- headed by Nawaz Sharif has taken up the fight to restore to power the judges who were sacked and being unable to get their ideas accepted by the current government led by the Pakistan People’s Party, they have resigned their posts. Nawaz said he had joined the coalition government on condition the judges would be restored. PPP co-chair, Asif Zardari, wants to move slowly on this issue. He fears trying to restore the judges would result in the current Pakistan Supreme Court declaring such an action to be illegal and creating a constitutional crisis.

This entire mess was created by President Musharraf’s original illegal action. Nawaz may well be playing to the court of public opinion by casting himself as a noble person who is fighting against the forces of evil. In a sense, he has transformed the PPP from a party opposing Musharraf into one that is supporting him. it is a rather clever ploy, but it runs the risk of creating turmoil at a time when Pakistan needs calm heads in order to deal with a host of problems including dealing with militants in northeast regions of the country.

Musharraf Accepts Compromise On Judges

During the hectic times of the fall of 2007 when President Musharraf of Pakistan openly challenged his political opponents, the decision to sack sittng supreme court justices antagonized major sectors of his nation. Musharraf apparently has accepted a compromise that restores the judges, increases the power of the prime minister, but also allows the president to come across as a leader making important decisions. He wants to make certain that if he departs from the presidency, it is his decision and his timing for such an occurrence.

Among the host of proposed reforms, appointment of provisional governors would now reside in the hands of the prime minister rather than the president, and the president would have less power in dissolving parliament. At this point a key consideration is allowing Musharraf to maintain his dignity even if a good portion of his power has been diluted.