General's game up?

THE political crisis simmering in Pakistan seems to have reached its boiling point. The 4-party ruling coalition, led mainly by Asif Zardari of PPP and Nawaz Sharif of PML-N, has finally decided to force the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf through a smart device.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 8 Aug 2008, 9:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:55 PM

Resolutions would be adopted in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies asking Musharraf to honour his written pledge to the Supreme Court made at the time of presidential election by outgoing assemblies last October. It was boycotted by the opposition and challenged in the court on plea that it lacked legitimacy and credibility. Musharraf promised he would seek its endorsement through vote of confidence from the new assemblies after general elections.

Musharraf is certain to lose because his supporters are heavily outnumbered in all these assemblies. In practice it would turn the move into a vote of no-confidence in him bringing Musharraf under tremendous moral and political pressure to step down. Simultaneously, the coalition has threatened to initiate work on a charge sheet for a resolution to impeach him for which the coalition has the requisite numbers in a joint session of the Parliament. That will not only put him in the dock to face serious charges of subversion of the constitution and misconduct but would also mean lot of muckraking. Prior to elections, Musharraf had promised to quit even if such a resolution is moved.

Zardari felt constrained to act and seek Sharif's help to oust Musharraf who was engaged in feverish campaigning in recent days to paint the new government as inept and responsible for imminent economic melt down. Musharraf has limited options. He can dismiss the assemblies or declare financial emergency. For this he requires the support of the army that is already trying to refurbish its image by distancing itself from politics. If the army comes on board, Musharraf can then go to his handpicked Supreme Court and secure an exemption from the mandatory elections within ninety days that his inveterate foe, Nawaz Sharif, is certain to sweep. The court would be asked to approve a Bangladesh-like arrangement to keep both the PPP and the PML-N at bay for couple of years.

Though such a scenario seems too fanciful under prevalent conditions in the country, if it materializes at all, Zardari would be chewing in his own juices for jealously protecting the Dogar Court and blocking reinstatement of independent judges for self-serving reasons.

More news from