Jun 012008

Ahmad Ali

On Oct 12 1999 Gen Musharraf in a bloodless military coup ousted an elected prime minister, with heavy mandate, when Prime Minister Nawaz announced the dismissal of powerful Army Chief and appointed new on his choice which was his constitutional power to appoint. In a TV address to the nation Musharraf accused elected prime minister of trying to consolidate his powers by systematically spoiling state institutions, undermining the status of army and pushing economy towards collapse. I wish to inform you that the armed forces have moved in as a last resort to prevent further destabilization of the country. Many Pakistanis however appeared to have shown great jubilation and welcomed military dictator because Nawaz Sharif had grown increasingly unpopular, since his election for attacking his political opponents, suppressing press freedom and failing to breathe life into Pakistan’s ailing economy. He became victim of deteriorated civil military relations, retreat from Kargil and assault on prestigious and sacred state institution the Supreme Court, foreign policy was being run against national interests and country being ruled in despotic manner. He was blamed for favoritism and nepotism in civilian appointments and postings and created inter provincial disharmony on KBD issue. He was accused on charges of corruption including defaulting loans, tax evasion and money laundering. The constitution was put in abeyance, federal and provincial govts and assemblies were dissolved and only spineless Rafiq Tarar remained unaffected. The new military dictator presents his seven point agenda. Rebuilding nation confidence and morale(2) strengthening federation to remove inter provincial disharmony and restore national cohesion(3) to revive economy and restore investor confidence (4) ensure law and order and dispense speedy justice(5) depoliticize state institutions (6) devolution of power to the grass roots level(7)ensure swift and across the board accountability. Musharraf announced that it is not martial law only another path towards democracy. The armed forces have no intention to remain in charge any longer that is absolutely necessary to pave the way for true democracy to flourish in Pakistan. Like his predecessor Musharraf stayed in office for long time in office as powerful president 1st through his controversial, unconstitutional and illegal referendum contrary to the procedure of president election prescribed in constitution. And later when he held general elections in Oct 2002 in which the opportunist coterie of turn coats from other parties, especially Muslim league, king party established and patronized by general Musharraf emerged victorious with the largest number of seats and MMA a six party religious alliance elected Gen Musharraf as president. The unforgettable mid night meetings of MMA leadership with Musharraf team resulted in the passing 17th amendment .The puppet regime and pro establishment MMA strengthened Musharraf hands and established NSC above parliament which damaged the sovereignty and independence of the supreme law making institution. Keeping in view his seven point agenda the country during his 8 years rule is at the brink of disaster. The country faces a threat to its survival and independence, the writ of the state and unity of federation is eroding at a rapid pace, military establishment attempts to subordinate all state institutions, marginalized civil society, flagrantly violated human rights, mockery of the constitution and representative institutions and rule of law, justice and fairly, growing poverty, increasing unemployment and inequality, brutalization of society, worsened law and order, rampant corruption, wheat and energy crisis and last but not the least launching of military operation against his own peoples in Baluchistan, FATA and Swat which created a sense of alienation in the native populations. Musharraf administration failed in implementing seven points in its true sense in nearly 9 years rule. The US overt intervention and influence greatly entrenched than ever before and US, NATO military strikes in Pak territory has threatened our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and damaged the standing of a nuclear power in the comity of nations and as a result Pakistan had become a satellite of the US. Now peoples are averse to US support and lobbying for President Musharraf to save him. US delegation of senators and think tank desperately attempting to support Musharraf stay as president, even if his powers curtailed (58-2-b appointment of services chiefs and Governors). Alarm bells rang in Washington when Zardari called Musharraf ¡s a relic of the past. Zardari made it clear to the US delegation that Musharraf was no longer part of the solution rather than he was the root of the problem. The Bush administration should recognize the ground realities and respect the popular verdict of 18 Feb elections and not to support an individual at the cost of democracy and peoples. Thanks to the leaders pro people’s response keeping in views the wishes, aspiration and interests of the peoples. Nearly 9 years of Musharraf rule has distorted the psyche of the nation and now his departure seems more real when Zardari threatened Musharraf to abdicate from the scene or face impeachment. The nation in a popular verdict through peaceful ballot on Feb 18 had rejected Musharraf his policies and party. The peoples looking eagerly that Musharraf will quit with respect and dignity but he using underhand means, tactics and hatching conspiracies to weaken the hold of elected govt, disappointed many, created extreme uncertainty and complicated the post poll scenario. Unfortunately Washington and military establishment still backing Musharraf, whatever their intentions and designs may be, it requires evolving a consensus among political parties, unity and cohesion in their ranks for the sake of democracy to flourish and to strengthen institutions to embarrass and defeat the conspirators and to keep the coalition intact. The required two third majorities for the impeachment or removal of the president is available with coalition parties. The procedure of the election of the president and removal is given in the constitution of 1973 so that president could realize that this is not an everlasting or hereditary office and he is responsible to the people. In accordance with the Article 47 of the constitution president can be removed. Art 47, Removal or impeachment of president (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the constitution, the president may, in accordance with the provision of this Article, be removed from office on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the constitution or gross misconduct (2) No less than one half of the total membership of either house may give to the Speaker of the National Assembly or as the case may be the chairman written notice of its intention to move a resolution for removal of or as the case may be to impeach, the president; and such notice shall set out the particulars of his incapacity or of the charges against him. (3) If a notice under clause (2) is received by the chairman Senate he shall transmit it forthwith to the speaker. (4) The speaker shall within three days of the receipt of a notice under clause (2) or (3) cause a copy of the notice to be transmitted to the president. (5) The speaker shall summon the two houses to meet in joint sitting not earlier than seven days and not later than fourteen days after the receipt of the notice by him. (6) The joint sitting may investigate or cause to be investigated the ground or the charge upon which the notice is founded. (7) The president shall have the right to appear and be represented during the investigation if any, and before the joint sitting. (8) if, after consideration of the result of the investigation, if any, a resolution is passed at the joint sitting by the votes of not less than two third of the total membership of parliament declare that the president is unfit to hold the office due to incapacity or is guilty of violating the constitution or of gross misconduct. The president shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution. The president should be impeached and Zardari sudden outburst is the reflection of tension between the president and Zardari. The PPP led coalition is under tremendous pressure to ensure his ouster from office as per the wishes, aspiration and interests of the people even if the assemblies are dissolved. Zardari credibility has suffered and strengthened the perception of being pro Musharraf and pro establishment but Zardari dispelled this despicable impression and it would have been caused irreparable damage to the PPP’s own standing as a popular party in the long run. ahmadali3b@yahoo.com

Source: The Frontier Post, 1/6/2008

 Posted by at 5:03 pm

  One Response to “Pakistan Politics: From military coup to impeachment”

  1. The Constitutions of Pakistan have been constantly violated from time to time
    both by Politicians and Army Chiefs since 1958. Now to remove him from office
    this government has to send their team of commandos to cripple Musharraf so
    that his physical condition prevents him from performing his duties. Zardari and Sharif have accumulated enough wealth that they can use for this purpose.
    Next is to declare him mentally unfit for that they will have to win over ‘Altaf Bhai’ and only he could provide the solution to declare Musharraf mentally ill;
    Assuming this coalition succeeds then who becomes the President? Mr Zardari
    or Mr Sharif or someone who could dance to the pull of their strings.

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