Zardari to address parliament Sep 19September 11th, 2008 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Sep 11 (IANS) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will address a joint session of parliament here Sep 19, as the contours of the ruling coalition are set to change. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday called on Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr here and invited him to address parliament to fulfil his obligation to do so under Article 56 of the constitution, The News reported Thursday.
Gilani also urged the president to accept the resignations tendered by nine ministers belonging to coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The ministers had resigned May 12 after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that leads the coalition and to which both Zardari and Gilani belong reneged on its promise to reinstate some 60 Supreme Court and High Court judges former president Pervez Musharraf sacked after declaring an emergency last November.
Till now, however, the portfolios allotted to the PML-N ministers had been kept vacant in the hope that the party would return but now, with the prime minister recommending that the resignations be accepted, “this has finally sealed all chances of a PPP-PML-N reunion”, The News said.
Prior to extending the invitation to the president, Gilani called an informal cabinet meeting at which it was decided to advise the president to address the joint session of parliament.
Later, the cabinet, along with the prime minister, called on Zardari at the presidency, where two meetings were held - a one-on-one between the president and the prime minister and another in which the PPP ministers also participated.
An expansion and reshuffle of the cabinet is also likely this week.
“The formal announcement would be made within the next few days, most probably before Zardari’s visit to the US to attend the annual summit of the United Nations,” The News quoted sources as saying.