PPP-PML(N) allies set to divest Mush's powers

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Islamabad, Feb 28 : Key allies of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have reportedly decided to divest President Pervez Musharraf of all of his discretionary powers, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and several other constitutional clauses and laws, which were framed to discriminate against politicians.

The package of constitutional and legal amendments under consideration of the experts of the PPP and PML-N will also provide for the removal of the ban on two-time former prime minister serving for the third term, sources from both sides said. At the very outset of its term, the next government is poised to seek restoration of the deposed judges of the superior judiciary, who were sent packing through the November 3 Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), and scrapping of the National Security Council (NSC). The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution will be amended to divest the president of the power which says that all the 35 laws listed in it can't be altered, repealed or amended by parliament or the government through ordinances without the president's previous sanction. These also include the law relating to the bar on the twice-elected former premier to assume the office again.

The president's principal discretionary powers, which have always been a great bone of contention with all civilian governments since 1985, relate to the appointment of chiefs of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief Election Commissioner, dissolution of the National Assembly, etc.

Only Nawaz Sharif as prime minister had thrown out of window all these constitutional clauses through the 14th Amendment. All the discretionary powers of the president were again inserted in the Constitution by Pervez Musharraf through the 17th Amendment courtesy to the support of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.

ANI

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