Pakistan President Musharraf to be impeached http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=460782&sid=SAS
Islamabad, Aug 07: Pakistan ruling coalition has announced it has become imperative to impeach President Musharraf on grounds of the policies that brought the nation to brink of economic and constitutional crisis. PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari and PML(N)’s Nawaz Sharif jointly announced this decision after 3 days of consultations at the Zardari house.
Zardari, looking relaxed, vehemently announced that the coalition had decided to impeach Musharraf. “The people of Pakistan had decided to bring in democracy and oust Musharraf when they voted PPP and PML(N) to power. Musharraf has violated the Constitution and brought the nation to a critical economic impasse. It has become imperative to impeach President Musharraf under Article 46."
He also said all the judges who were sacked during Musharraf’s Emergency rule will be reinstated, as it was extra-constitutional to remove them.
Zardari charged Musharraf with going against the Constitution. “The President is supposed to address the new Parliament which Musharraf didn’t. His policies hace weakened the federation and hace eroded the nation’s trust in institutions. There is more power shortage than ever. He did not seek the Vote of confidence from the new House. “
Zardari claimed Musharraf had given a "clear commitment" to resign if his party lost in the February elections and had failed to honor a pledge made by his attorney to the Supreme Court to seek a vote of confidence from the new Parliament.
He said the Provincial Assemblies will move a resolution that Musharraf seek a vote of confidence. “The ruling coalition will present a chargesheet against him,” he added.
He vowed to usher in genuine democracy in the country. “We will implement the Charter of Democracy. We pledge democracy to Pakistan.”
Nawaz Sharif said he agreed with what had been said by Zardari. “We are happy, all of you have smiles on your face. What else do I need to say?” he said.
The ruling coalition will need two-third of majority in Lower and Upper House of Pakistan to impeach Musharraf. There were reports in Pakistani media that the impeachment proceedings will begin on August 11.
Warning against Musharraf dissolving the Parliament, Zardari thundered, "If he does it, it will be his last verdict against (the) people, against (the) people's mandate and against Pakistan.
"Democracy is not so weak that this article ... could be invoked," he added.
There were reports that Musharraf had gone to meet Army chief General Kiyani even as the meeting between ruling coalition parties was being held to decide on his future.
The declaration reached by the coalition also included modalities for reinstating judges deposed during last year's emergency by Musharraf.
A cabinet member said an impeachment motion would be moved against the President in parliament on August 11.
The deposed judges would be reinstated through an executive order issued by the government, the cabinet member said.
The cabinet member also told the channel that the powerful Army was behind the civilian government and not the President.
Musharraf seized power in a military coup in October 1999 and ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan for eight years with the backing of the United States, which has counted him as a key ally since the September 11 attacks.
Opposition from King's party
Tariq Azeem, a spokesman for the main pro-Musharraf opposition party PML(Q), said it would oppose any impeachment of the President.
"We have backed him and voted for him so we are duty bound to support him ... We will oppose impeachment," he said.
He said there were more pressing issues facing the nation, including "runaway inflation" and sharp hikes in the price of food.
Azeem said he did not think the ruling coalition had the numbers in Parliament to impeach Musharraf, but conceded "things could go either way."