By Dilshad Azeem
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is all set to seek face-saving arrangements with the Pakistan People’s Party on the reinstatement of the judges within the deadline, The News has learnt.
“The PML-N 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,” a key leader of the Nawaz League told this correspondent here on Sunday.
Apart from the clauses of the proposed constitutional package, the major controversy remains on the PPP’s insistence to bring the package and the resolution on the judges’ restoration simultaneously in the National Assembly, the source maintained.
At the same time, two other coalition partners of the government, the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), have not been taken into confidence over the constitutional package or about the exact timing of bringing a resolution to reinstate the judges.
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 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,” the source further said.
The PPP-PML-N committee working on the package and finalising the draft resolution for the reinstatement of the judges would meet in Dubai with the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari today (Monday) in a last ditch effort to fulfill the promise the two major parties had made with the public in last March 9 Murree Declaration.
Asif Zardari has extended his stay in Dubai and called the committee members there to sort out the differences. “The Nawaz League’s main stress would be to meet the deadline or it would cause serious problems for us as far as the public opinion is concerned.”
Law Minister Farooq H Naek, Leader of the House in Senate Raza Rabbani and Information Minister Sherry Rehman are from the PPP side and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar are the PML-N representatives in the committee.
“The PML-N will back the PPP in fixing the tenure of the judges in the constitutional package in case our demand of April 30 is accepted by Asif Ali Zardari and it is de-linked from the resolution,” the PML-N member further said.
In off-the-record chat, the source admitted that there was still a deadlock mainly on the PPP’s wish to link both the resolution and the package and bring these together. “If we accept their demand for fixing the tenure of the chief justice up to three years, it means he is not reinstated,” he said in a frank manner.
According to information, deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has to stay till 2013 at his position under the pre-Nov 3, 2007 position. And if a term for three years is restricted, he would retire in the ongoing year.
Both PPP and PML-N, in the Murree Declaration, had announced to restore the judiciary in accordance with their status of November 2, 2007. This means there must not be any fixed tenure for the chief justice.
Source: The News, 28/4/2008