Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pakistan Stabilizes, but Not Musharraf

Bhutto's successor and Nawaz Sharif have agreed to form a coalition government. First on the agenda: Restoring the fired Supreme Court judges.
The two largest parties, both moderate and secular, have vowed to form a broad-based government, raising Western hopes of stability and renewed commitment to fighting al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

However, they are devoting most of their energy to cutting back Musharraf's sweeping powers _ a course the former military strongman seems unlikely to accept meekly.

Zardari and Sharif declared a breakthrough on two key issues: the makeup of the coalition and the future of the judiciary.

Sharif said his party would be part of a federal coalition led by the People's Party, which is expected to name its candidate for prime minister this week.

In return, Zardari agreed that the new parliament would pass a resolution within 30 days of convening to reinstate dozens of judges fired by Musharraf after he declared emergency rule on Nov. 3.

The leaders agreed that the judiciary would be restored "as it was on Nov. 2," suggesting that ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry would return to his post.
Time for Pervez to put his toys away and clean up. Pakistan isn't out of the woods yet but this all seems to be headed in the right direction.

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