Pak constitutional reform committee cuts President's 'sweeping' powers

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Lahore, Jan. 15 (ANI): Reducing the powers of the President further, Pakistan's constitutional reform committee has agreed to transfer the authority of appointing services chiefs from the head of the state to the head of the government.

The President will now have to consult the Prime Minister before appointing services chiefs after an amendment to Article 243 of the constitution, The Daily Times reports.

The committee also rejected the suggestions of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which had asked that the services chiefs should be appointed after approval from parliament.

It is worth mentioning here that President Asif Ali Zardari has been under tremendous pressure to relinquish some of his powers.

Pakistan's original constitution approves a parliamentary system, wherein a popularly elected premier is the chief executive and the president is a ceremonial head of the state.

It may be noted that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had earlier clarified that it was he who is heading the country and not Zardari.

"I should tell you that I am the chief executive and the chief executive is the head of the government," Gilani had said.

In a figurative gesture, Zardari had also stepped down as the chairman of National Command Authority, handing over the nuclear button to Gilani in November last year. (ANI)

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