Islamabad, May 4: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has reportedly indicated that he would agree to diluting some of his powers provided he was allowed to stay on with dignity and decide upon his time and method of departure. Sources told the Daily Times that presidential aides were in contact with the government to work out a constitutional package acceptable to all stakeholders – Pakistan People"s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Supreme Court (SC) judges, President and Army – for a working relationship between all institutions of the state.
The sources said the president was likely to agree to a proposal to dilute his discretionary powers to dissolve the assemblies. However, they said Article 58 (2b) would stay. “The president"s powers to use Article 58 (2b) would be made stringently subject to the approval of the SC and some guidelines may also be recommended for the apex court in case such a situation develops," the sources said.
Apparently, the president is not ready to abolish the National Security Council, but would agree to a proposal that the provincial governors be appointed on the advice of the prime minister rather than in consultation with him. However, the sources said the president wanted to retain the powers to appoint the service chiefs. “There is a disagreement on this issue. He wants the appointment of the services chiefs to the president"s prerogative," the sources said.
It is understood that there is a willingness on the part of the stakeholders to fix the chief justice"s tenure to a five-year term. “But the government does not want deposed judge Justice Javed Iqbal to be restored as this would diminish Justice Dogar"s chances of becoming chief justice on completion of Justice Chaudhry"s tenure," the sources said.
They said the president was already in a process of consultation with his legal advisers who were in contact with the government to prepare a mutually agreed constitutional package to end the deadlock on critical issues. The government, the sources said, would soon take all coalition partners and the opposition parties into confidence to build a consensus on the constitutional amendments.
According to the paper, the date of May 12 for the restoration of the sacked judiciary was not cast iron and the issue could be dragged well beyond it if any of the above mentioned stakeholders was not on board any solution.