Musharraf will never address parliament: report

June 22nd, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, June 22 (IANS) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will “never deliver” his mandatory address to parliament because of the “hostile environment” that prevails in the National Assembly and the Senate, a media report Sunday said. This is in spite of National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza’s keenness to invite Musharraf to fulfil his constitutional obligation of addressing a joint session of parliament.

However, “her keenness in urging the prime minister to request the president to come face-to-face with parliament has turned out to be an embarrassment for Musharraf and has become a permanent taunt for him,” The News noted.

Senior leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party that leads the ruling coalition have publicly stated their rejection of Musharraf and would not shield him against an onslaught from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) legislators if the president appeared in parliament, an official said.

Musharraf was also aware that he had increasingly become cornered and irrelevant in the new dispensation and it would be imprudent for him to address a joint parliamentary session, the official added.

During the five-year tenure of the previous National Assembly, Musharraf addressed a joint sitting just once “and that too had turned out to be an extremely stormy session.

“At the end of his speech, a perspiring Musharraf had raised his fist in the air showing that he was composed and unruffled and could courageously face a crowd of his opponents,” The News said.

Musharraf’s predecessors, including Gen. Ziaul Haq and Ghulam Ishaq, had regularly delivered their annual parliamentary addresses “although they had faced a lot of hullabaloo during their speeches”, the newspaper added.

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