ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister, Sherry Rehman Friday said impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf by the ruling coalition is “a historical moment for democracy in Pakistan. Talking to private TV channel, she said’ “It is a process that symbolizes that no individual or institution is above accountability. It is step towards democracy and parliamentary sovereignty. We are just implementing the mandate given to us by the public on February 18,”
Rehman said there is no issue about required numbers in the parliament to support the ruling coalition’s move. “As far as numbers in the parliament are concerned, we have done all our homework, and have been contacted by several groups of senators and MNAs from the opposition all through the night, ever since we made the announcement.
We already have support of 18 members of the opposition. They naturally want to be remembered as voting on the right side of history.” Asked about use of Article 58(2) B (by the President), Sherry Rehman said anyone who uses it, or stands by to support it, is “openly opposing sovereign will of the people and opening the door for a dangerous destabilization of Pakistan at a time when the federation needs democratic forces.” The President will not be allowed to use Article 58(2)B of the Constitution.
“The next president should be a civilian president and would be required to function according to the parameters set for a civilian authority. Democracy entails every institution to work within its mandate, while staying answerable to the parliament. We do not want to return to the system where all state organs are subjected to the will of a single institution,” she said.
Sherry Rehman said that the country’s transition to democracy requires total commitment from all political forces. “We are moving towards strengthening the democratic order and such a system cannot function under the sword of an authoritarian clause. The country’s transition to civilian rule has come after years of struggle and sacrifices by the democratic forces including our leaders Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Safeguarding this system is our collective responsibility and the Peoples Party government is determined to play its role to protect the civilian rule,” she added.-SANA