ISLAMABAD: One of the two signatories of the Murree Declaration ñ Asif Ali Zardari ñ has started facing public criticism for making fun of the 30 days deadline given for the restoration of the judges while the D-day for the other, Nawaz Sharif, is fast approaching.
While the government prorogued the National Assembly session on Friday, April 25, 2008 ñ five days before the expiry of the announced deadline ñ all eyes are now set on PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif.
His reaction to the coalition’s failure to fulfill its commitment on the judges’ issue would be crucial for his political future and would decide whether he would swim or sink. Sources said Mian Nawaz Sharif had already started consulting his party leaders to chalk out the future strategy.
April 30 is the day when he has to decide whether the PML-N ministers are quitting the cabinet slots or the party would become pragmatic like the Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party. There are conflicting reports pouring out of the PML-N circles, adding confusion to the already complex situation.
Some suggest that Nawaz Sharif would announce on April 30 the date for the resignation of the PML-N ministers in the federal cabinet while there are others who say that going beyond the April 30 deadline would not really mean anything.
The sources said the PML-N leadership might set May 10 the date for quitting of its min-
isters. Such an announcement, it is said, would give an additional 10 days to Asif Ali Zardari to rethink his strategy on the judges’ issue. The PML-N is considering quitting the cabinet but continuing with the coalition.
A PML-N influential MNA told this correspondent it would be suicidal for the Nawaz League to trust Zardari if the judges were not restored as per the commitment made in the Murree Declaration.
The PML-N leader said any condition attached to the judges’ restoration as suggested by the PPP would be simply unacceptable. So far the two parties are poles apart on getting back the deposed judges despite the fact that the two had agreed on March 9 at Murree that the judges would be restored to the Nov 2 situation through a simple resolution to be moved in the National Assembly within 30 days of the formation of the federal government.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani took oath of his office on March 25 while his cabinet was inducted on March 31. The countdown of 30 days started from April 1 but the PPP created confusion while Zardari made fun of the 30 days deadline he had himself agreed to. He repeatedly said that he did not believe in the countdown without explaining why he agreed to the 30 daysí deadline.
Courtesy: The News, 26/4/2008