Musharraf’s buddies in the line of fire

August 19th, 2008 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 19 (IANS) With Pervez Musharraf stepping down as Pakistan’s president, the axe is likely to fall on some of his cronies, including governors and judges, who are occupying key government positions.National Security Adviser Tariq Aziz and presidential spokesperson Maj. Gen. (retd) Rashid Qureshi are among those in the line of fire. One Musharraf acolyte - Nasim Ashraf - has already stepped down as the Pakistan Cricket Board chief.

Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah, Attorney General Malik Qayyum and the chief justices of most of the high courts - and that of the Supreme Court - “would also lose their jobs”, The News said Tuesday.

Acting President and Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro too is expected to lose his job in the coming weeks, it added.

Tariq Aziz - Musharraf’s friend from college days and who had been his top political adviser throughout his rule - is expected to resign though both Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zardari would like him to continue.

Mohsin Hafiz, the secretary to the president, was one of the most powerful bureaucrats in the last eight years due to his closeness to the dictator. Though still serving, Hafiz is “destined” to be shunted out as an officer on special duty.

With the fall of Musharraf, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), once derisively referred to as the King’s Party as it enjoyed the former president’s support, “is also likely to evaporate into thin air”, The News said.

All the four provincial governors are considered pro-Musharraf. Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad’s fate is, however, linked to the future ties of the PPP and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) while Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi has already indicated he would quit.

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