Islamabad, Dec. 26 (PTI): The government of Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali today presented a bill to the national assembly that seeks to endorse general Pervez Musharraf’s presidency and other constitutional amendments.
The government had earlier reached a deal with the Islamist opposition on the issue.
The draft Consitution 17th Amendment bill was introduced in the assembly by the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Raza Hayat Hiraj. When passed, the bill, which seeks to amend nine articles of the constitution, would deem Musharraf as the elected President after he wins a confidence vote in parliament and provincial assemblies.
Other amendments included granting the President powers to dismiss parliament, which would however be subjected to a supreme court review.
It also allows the establishment of a national security council dominated by military officials by an act of parliament and empowers the President, instead of the Prime Minister to appoint chiefs of army, navy, airforce and other top military jobs.
While mainstream opposition parties declined to endorse his attempts to get his presidency ratified by a confidence vote in parliament and four provincial assemblies, the Islamist alliance Muthahida Majlis-e-Amal agreed to back it after Musharraf accepted its demand to quit as army chief by the end of next year.
Though the Jamali government has a bare majority in the assembly, it is expected to secure a two-thirds majority for the bill with the aid of the Islamist parties. The bill will then be sent for approval to the senate and four provincial assemblies next week and is expected to be ratified well before the Saarc summit, to be held in the capital from January 4 to 6.
Two small bombs exploded near a railway track in the Pakistani port city of Karachi today, causing no damage but temporarily suspending rail traffic, police said.
Syed Kamal Shah, police chief in southern Sindh province, said the explosions were apparently caused by explosives hidden in heaps of sand near the rail tracks in the city’s eastern district.