Pakistan’s Coalition Parties to Impeach Musharraf


Islamabad, Aug 7: Pakistan’s ruling coalition has agreed to launch impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf, party sources said today.

“The coalition parties have agreed in principle to launch an impeachment motion,” a senior coalition source said after three days of talks between the leaders of the alliance.

A spokesman for the two main parties in the coalition said a formal announcement of the decision from the meetings was due to be made later today.

“There was a major breakthrough in the talks late last night. We have agreed to impeach the president,” a senior member of former premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party said.

An official from the slain ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, which is now led by her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, confirmed the decision.

Officials said that the breakthrough came when Mr Sharif assured Mr Zardari that he could count on the support of some former members of the PML-N who are currently members of a pro-Musharraf party.

Mr Musharraf seized power in a military coup in October 1999 and ruled Pakistan for eight years with the backing of the US, which counts him as a key ally in the “war on terror”.

But his popularity slumped after he ousted the country’s chief justice in 2007 and imposed a state of emergency to prevent challenges to his re-election as president.

Mr Musharraf stepped down as army chief in November last year. The parties of Ms Bhutto and Mr Sharif then trounced his allies in general elections in February.

The parties have also agreed to restore judges sacked by Mr Musharraf under emergency rule but were still working out the details, the party sources said.

They said that a charge sheet on Mr Musharraf’s position and performance as president would be drawn up and submitted to parliament to be signed by at least half of all MPs in the coming days.

The speaker of the national assembly, or lower house of parliament, would then notify Mr Musharraf and ask him to defend his position within seven to 15 days, they said.

The national assembly is currently in recess but party officials said that any impeachment motion could initially be launched in the senate or upper house.

Television channels reported that the government was set to recall the national assembly as early as next week.


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Title: Pakistan’s Coalition Parties to Impeach Musharraf

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