ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that he would seek to tip the balance of power back toward parliament and away from embattled President Asif Ali Zardari. In an interview with Wall Street Journal, he said that the move could help to restore democratic checks and balances in the country and possibly help bring the opposition into the ruling coalition.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani vowed to return to parliament authority that it lost in 2002 when former president Pervez Musharraf gave sweeping powers to the presidency, including the power to dismiss parliament.
“We are committed to changing the system, “My main endeavor is to end the politics of confrontation.”
He added that he planned to cooperate with Sharif. Protests led in part by the opposition leaders helped force President Zardari this week to allow the restoration of a deposed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who had become to many Pakistanis a symbol of rule of law in the nascent democracy.
Gilani said he would offer Sharif the opportunity to rejoin the governing coalition. “I hope we will go back to our relations,” he said. “I can offer Nawaz Sharif to join the coalition at an appropriate time…. That shows our resolve for the reconciliation.”
Wall Street Journal said that Gilani’s remarks come after his own political credibility received a big boost this week when he helped to defuse the political turmoil that threatened to engulf the nuclear-armed nation. His new assertiveness stems in part from the backing he has received from opposition parties.
“We need to implement the Charter of Democracy signed by two former prime ministers,” Gilani said, referring to an agreement signed by Bhutto and Sharif in 2006 that pledged to strike down the constitutional changes made by Musharraf’s military-led government.