Musharraf ready to 'live without 58(2) b' but wants his pre-Nov 3 decisions to stay

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Islamabad, May 3 : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has reportedly agreed to let his power under Article 58(2) b of the Constitution be taken away, but has insisted for a legal cover for all actions he took as Army Chief after imposing the state of emergency on Nov 3 last year.

The Article 58(2) b of the Pakistani Constitution guarantees powers to the President to dissolve the National Assembly.

Musharraf is learnt to have conveyed this to PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari recently, after Zardari and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif agreed in Dubai to reinstate the judges sacked by Musharraf last year.

Musharraf's condition put before the coalition government, of not reversing his decisions, implies that the suspended judges would not be restored, which further means that deposed chief justice Iftikhar Choudhary, who poses the greatest danger for Musharraf, would also be not reinstalled as the country's chief justice, much to likeness of the President. In the event of Justice Iftikhar installed again as Pakistan chief justice, Musharraf would be at the risk of being declared (by Iftikhar) as an illegal and unconstitutional President)

The President's change of heart is believed to be a result of intense consultations that he had been holding with his legal aides over the past two months on the issue of judges' reinstatement, his own status as President and the fallout of the Nov 3 emergency, reported the Dawn.

Besides, the President also held meetings with his political aides, and met PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former president Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Faisal Saleh Hayat and Raza Hayat Hirraj.

President's legal aides, including Sharifuddin Pirzada and Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum, are reported to have told the president that since the Article 58(2)b was a big threat to the new government it would be fair to make the offer to the ruling coalition to end a political impasse.

ANI

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