Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Now that President Asif Ali Zardari has agreed to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and offered to challenge a court decision against his rival Nawaz Sharif, is he going to come under pressure to give up his powers to dismiss parliament, another popular demand?
For many Pakistanis, that is the next stage in the rapid emasculation of Zardari’s presidency. Article 58-2B of the constitution, which many blame for much of the country’s political instability, has several times been used to sack elected governments. Zardari had promised to ditch it but has yet to deliver.
“The next thing is to throw (out) 58-2B – it will fix the super power of president then,” was a post on microblogging site Twitter where activists, lawyers and ordinary people, caught up in the drama of the moment, shared information and pictures in real time.
He has already lost his Information Minister. Sherry Rehman, a long-time confidante of his late wife Benazir Bhutto, abruptly quit after the government temporarily blocked transmission of the popular GEO news television channel.