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No chance of President Musharraf to step down

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President Musharraf has no plan to step down conditionally”, said Media Adviser retired Major General Rashid Qureshi told Media. He was approached by this correspondent for comments over a lead news story carried by ,’The News’,Wednesday. “This story is totally baseless and malicious. I had denied this story last night but still The News and its tv Channel GEO carried it even after a categoric denial by the Presidency”,Qureshi added.

President’s Media Advisor said the government of PPP-led coalition intends to bring some constitutional reforms which on behalf of President will be examined by Attorney General Malik Qayyum. So far the presidency has not received any such constitutional proposal from Law Ministry which the government has prepared. The story which appeared despite official denial gives an impression as the reporter of The News lives in the drawing room of Presidential Palace”, Qureshi commented asking, “is it freedom of press. These reporters do not straighten their lies before twisting them”.

General Qureshi said President Musharraf was comfortably working with the new parties which have formed government. He even administered oath to the ministers of PML(N) who wore black-bands. But to comment that the PPP-led Coalition government had sent the draft of constitutional package which is meant to curtail president’s powers, “The Attorney General Malik Qayum is there to handle the matter. At no stage the President has promised to step down conditionally. The conditions, Gen. Qureshi quoting the news item said are that the parliament should validate President’s action of November 3,2007. No such promise has been made. He said President would respect any fresh legislation or constitutional amendment but so far he never held any meeting with Law Minister of party heads of the Coalition.

It was not only Major General Rashid Qureshi who contradicted such a big story, Information Secretary of Pakistan People’s Party of Punjab and a member of National Assembly Farzana Raja told, “no doubt the Law Ministry has prepared a draft can be termed constitutional package or 18th Constitutional Amendment but the draft is being examined by the leadership of PPP, Pakistan Muslim League (N), Awami National Party and other allied parties before the government makes a final decsion to table it before the parliament.

As the Law Ministry has prepared the draft and Law Minister Farooq Naik himself announced its completion kite flying of all kind is going on in Pakistan over print and electronic media. PPP Spokesman Farhatullah Babar told People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has decided to start consultations over the proposed 18th constitutional amendment package with the coalition partners. “Awami National Party’s Asfandyar Wali will meet Wednesday afternoon with Asif Ali Zardari,” ANP spokesman Zahid Khan said. The two leaders will discuss the constitutional package, NWFP government matters and other issues.

The constitutional package is likely to redefine the appointment and removal of judges and the presidential powers. Federal Minister of Law Farooque H. Naik recently said he was working on a constitutional package that will create balance of powers between the president and the prime minister.
courtesy Arab News

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Azhar Masoodhttp://
Azhar Masood is Controller of News in PTV, and Chief Instructor of PTV Academy, working for Arab News. He has Covered Iraq War from Baghdad for CNN, BBC, FOX News, and Al-Jazeera and other regional channels. He covered conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina. He interviewed Yasir Arafat of Palestine, Paul Wolfoweit, Prime Minister Jean Ghteyan of Canada, Dr. Amar Musa of Egypt, Mr. Haris Slajic, Prime Minister of Bosnia Dr. Akbar Ali Vallayati, former Foreign Minister of Iran, President Kumaratunge of Sri Lanka, Mr. Kumar Su Bramanyem, Director of National Defence Institute of India, Mr. Hamid Karzai President of Afghanistan, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi of Iraq National Congress, Mr. Hoshyar Zubari, Vice President Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq
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