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Zardari to relinquish key powers: Report

July 08, 2009 15:32 IST
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In a significant move, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has agreed to relinquish some key powers like appointment of the army chief and dissolution of Parliament, a British newspaper has claimed.

Zardari has decided to give up the key powers to adjust the balance of power with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Pakistan's political parties have also reached a basic consensus on the move, which they claim will bolster Pakistan's democratic constitution, which has been heavily altered by the country's successive military rulers.

"President Zardari said categorically that he will give up those powers as per the wishes of his party and the Parliament," presidential spokesman and member of the ruling Pakistan's People Party Farhatullah Babar was quoted as saying.

A 28-member all-party committee was created last week to agree on the 'modalities' on how to amend the constitution. Zardari has also promised to honour his pledge to cede the power to appoint provincial governors as well as impose governor's rule, the report said.

In fact, Zardari also wants to restore Pakistan's constitution as it was made in 1973, several years before the late military dictator, General Zia- al-Haq, toppled the Pakistan People's Party-led government, which was led by Zulfiqar Bhutto.

This will involve undoing dozens of changes introduced by successive civilian and military rulers who butchered the constitution to consolidate their grip on power.

"Parties may emphasise different aspects which may make reaching a consensus difficult. We hope there will be no delay. We have taken the lead on the issue," Babar was quoted as saying.

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