Islamabad, Apr.3 (ANI): The 18th Constitutional Amendment bill tabled in Pakistan Parliament on Friday is being referred as a 'historic' move that would clip key powers of President Asif Ali Zardari, but a closer observation of the proposed bill reveals that all is not lost for him.
All the major Pakistani political parties, including the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were taken on board over the amendment bill, but it has now emerged that these parties have failed to follow the Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed between late Benazir Bhutto and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in 2006.
The basic objective of CoD was to restore all powers of the prime minister and turn the president into a 'show piece' according to the 1973 Constitution.
Complete implementation of the CoD was not in the interest of both Zardari and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, as both are the beneficiaries of violation of the CoD, The News reports.
According to the new bill, the President is still the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
"The President shall, on advice of the Prime Minister appoint CJCSC and three services chiefs," one of the clauses of the 18th Amendment bill states.
The 18th Amendment bill has definitely curtailed the discretionary powers of President in the appointment of governors and three services chiefs because the "advice" of the prime minister will be binding, but this new proposed amendment is also a violation of CoD.
This clearly implies that Zardari still enjoys 50 percent powers in the appointment of governors and services chiefs.
Clause three of the CoD says that the recommendations for appointment of judges to superior judiciary shall be formulated through a commission headed by a chief justice who has never previously taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), which came into being during former President General Pervez Musharraf's regime.
"In the light of this clause, Justice Iftikhar was not eligible to become the head of the judicial commission because he took oath under the PCO in 2000," the newspaper said. (ANI)