May 042008

ISLAMABAD – The imminent reinstatement of the deposed judges is building up pressure on both President and PML-Q President to step down in the larger interest of country but who is going to lead, Pervez Musharraf or Chaudhry Shujaat, is still a big question. Some senior leaguers revealed to TheNation that the feelings within the former ruling party and close aides of President Musharraf were growing to accept the responsibility of some “wrong-doings” including imposition of emergency, removal of judiciary and restrictions on the freedom of media.
“If things are moving anti-clock for you, you have to consider some remedial steps by taking some bold decisions,” they argued and added there should be a change from the top to avoid any further confrontation, as the people are fed up with the situation and wanted relief.
Both sides, the presidency and the top leadership of PML-Q, are tight-lipped and are not showing their cards as they are still waiting for the right time. Once the resolution is tabled, something could be said about the developments, the sources hinted.
According to the sources, the change is not clearly visible right now but in near future, there can be top-level changes in the party. The speculation of brining a change within the former ruling party came to light when the senior leaguers, believed to be anti-Chaudhrys, including former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Manzoor Wattoo and Faisal Saleh Hayat met the President the other day and discussed party situation and current political environment.
Following the meeting, the very next day (Saturday) PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had a long consultative meeting with the President at Rawalpindi Camp Office.
Talking to the journalists after the meeting, Elahi categorically denied any development of changing the party leadership. “It was a routine meeting and nothing special,” Elahi asserted while responding to a query.
He said the presidency had nothing to do with the change in the leadership of PML-Q, as there was a proper democratic procedure and only the General Council could elect or remove someone from party leadership.
“We will see what comes out of the text of the resolution and then could say something on it. We have already constituted a committee of constitutional experts to look into the matter,” the Opposition Leader maintained.
Chaudhry Shujaat termed the meeting with President as a normal routine matter. “The President will soon address the newly elected Parliament,” he added.
When approached to comment on the development, Central Information Secretary Senator Tariq Azeem told TheNation, “There is no truth in the reports of brining changes in the party leadership.”
To a question about any consultations with the PPP-led coalition government on the judges’ issue, he affirmed they would welcome such move but the ruling alliance was busy to complete its talks with ruling partners including ANP and JUI-F.
“We will respond positively to the gesture if they approached us,” he said. The government had not contacted the PML-Q on the issue yet, however the party would support the resolution after it was presented in the Parliament, Azeem added.

Source: The Nation, 4/5/2008

 Posted by at 6:49 am

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