Judges’ restoration: Pakistan coalition partner seeks to save face

April 28th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, April 28 (IANS) The junior partner in Pakistan’s ruling coalition is all set for a face-saving arrangement with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on reinstating by the Wednesday deadline the judges President Pervez Musharraf sacked last November after declaring an emergency. “The PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) will show more flexibility on the constitutional package if the judges are reinstated within the April 30 deadline, as we need to save face before the people,” The News Monday quoted a key party leader as saying.

PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently in Dubai, is insisting that a constitutional package on judicial reforms be simultaneously introduced in the National Assembly along with the resolution on reinstating the judges. The PML-N has hitherto maintained that the two issues should be de-linked.

The chances of meeting the April 30 deadline that the coalition partners had fixed earlier this month receded when the National Assembly went into recess last Friday.

On Sunday, the PML-N dispatched a high-powered delegation led by its president Shahbaz Sharif to Dubai to meet Zardari in a bid to resolve the imbroglio.

One other complication that has arisen is that two other coalition partners, the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), have not been taken into confidence on the constitutional package.

“The PPP and PML-N are not in a position to get two-thirds majority either in the National Assembly or the Senate without the ANP and JUI-F’s support. Both these smaller parties have their own demands to be presented before the two leading ones when the constitutional package is presented before them,” The News noted.

“The PML-N will seek some arrangements to de-link the constitutional package from the resolution so that the differences are hammered out separately. Definitely, we are flexible and will be more in case the PPP accepts our major demand of meeting the deadline,” it quoted a source as saying.

“Our main stress would be to meet the deadline or it would cause serious problems for us as far as the public opinion is concerned,” the source added.

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Posted in South Asia |