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.