Opposition slams another term for Musharraf
ISLAMABAD: The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) on Wednesday condemned a statement by the government that President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s would remain in office beyond 2007.
Information Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed asserted on Tuesday that parliament would give President Musharraf the mandate to continue as president after the next general elections in 2007, when Gen Musharraf’s five-year term would also end.
ARD Chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Raja Zafarul Haq of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Aitzaz Ahsan of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) said that statements like the one made by the information minister were often issued in countries having no democratic culture.
“It is highly undemocratic to make such an announcement prior to the elections and it shows the authoritarian agenda of the regime,” said Raja Zafarul Haq. “He (Musharraf) is a dictator from top to bottom and so far he has not shared power with the rubber stamp parliament or the cabinet.”
Makhdoom Amin Fahim said that the president’s decision to remain in office beyond 2007 would be taken up at the next meeting of the ARD. “A joint strategy will also be evolved after due consultations with the PML-N,” he added.
Aitzaz Ahsan said that under the constitution he (Musharraf) should have to quit as the chief of Army staff two years before contesting the presidential election. “I cannot say who will be elected as the president because I am not in authority,” he added.
Meanwhile Makhdoom Amin Fahim neither confirmed nor denied party chairperson Benazir Bhutto’s links with the government. “Whatever dialogue is to be held with the government will be very much within the parameters of the constitution. With the restoration of the 1973 Constitution, the president’s issue will also be settled,” he added.
To a similar question in the context of the government’s links with Nawaz Sharif, Raja Zafarul Haq said the government intended to create confusion in the country and undermine the role of the opposition by making contradictory statements. online