Zardari’s interference will negate 18th amendment

Express May 12, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly (MNA) Zafar Ali Shah, a veteran of the Pakistan People’s Party, (PPP) has warned President Zardari against the negation of the 18th constitutional amendment if he continues to ‘meddle’ in government affairs.

“The 18th amendment will be negated if the president issues orders to the PM as party chief,” said Shah. Shah was referring to the decisions taken by the party’s core committee, an inner circle of some close aides of Zardari. The committee’s decisions are issued to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani as directives. In a speech to the house on Wednesday evening, Shah said that party leaders should be updated on any progress made in the investigation of former premier Benazir Bhutto’s murder.

“What kind of a party is this (PPP) which has not been able to probe the murder of its leader?” asked Shah, once a prominent leader of the group with Benazir Bhutto but sidelined by Zardari. Shah’s hostile comments directed at the president come a day after similar criticism of Zardari by another PPP stalwart, MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur, for failing to properly investigate the death of Benazir. Talpur on Tuesday asked the prime minister to order investigators to question those PPP members who were in the backup car and drove away from the murder site.

Observers believe that there is growing frustration in the ranks of the PPP about the failure to punish those who conspired to kill their leader. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that the 18th amendment was a significant step but a lot still needs to be done for economic recovery.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 13th, 2010.