Before lifting emergency, Musharraf may amend the Constitution

December 12th, 2007 - 2:21 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Dec 12 (ANI): President Pervez Musharraf is all set to issue three orders on Saturday or Sunday to lift the state of emergency and revive the Constitution, but not before pushing through several amendments to the basic document through his special PCO powers.
Highly placed sources said that legal experts in the Law Ministry have drafted relevant orders, which have been cleared by the authorities concerned.
The first order would pertain to Constitutional amendments, which have already been discussed at the highest level and approved by Constitutional experts.
The amendments would incorporate the establishment of a federal court in Islamabad to streamline the system pertaining to the superior judiciary.
The second order would deal with the revocation of the emergency order of November 3, and again the President would promulgate it.
The third order will provide the revival of the Constitution that was put in abeyance on November 3, but the restoration of the Constitution would come into effect with amendments.
Musharraf, who has been vested with the authority to amend the Constitution through the proclamation orders issued by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on November 3 and subsequently the authority was transferred to the President, would be issuing such an order for the last time.
The amendment to the Constitution would bring about a change in the basic structure of the document that provides the basis for governing the country and it would affect the judicial system of the country in a big way, sources said.
With these three orders, the basic human rights will be revived and powers of the judiciary will be restored, the superior judiciary that came into being after the imposition of the emergency rule would stay, replacing the previous set of judges, sources said.
Sources said it has been discussed at the political level that the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) of October last would be given protection through fresh legislation and it would get a constitutional cover so that the same could not be challenged in any court of law.
The orders will prove to be yet another watershed in the process of converting Pervez Musharraf into a true civilian head of state, The News reported.
Constitutional experts are of the view that despite claims of the presidential legal advisers, the President will have to indemnify his action through the 18th Amendment to be passed by the next Parliament.
In case the amendment that would provide indemnity to the November 3 actions of the then Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Pervez Musharraf is not passed, the threat of Article 6 of the Constitution would still be there.
Observers are of the view that the Pakistan Peoples Party would be constrained to play a supporting role in the next parliament for the passage of the 18th Amendment because of its vested interest since this would also pave the way for the validation of the NRO.
The presidential camp has skilfully trapped the PPP for its future political course of action through the proposed amendment and ensured its support in parliament in advance, observers insisted. (ANI)

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