The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Musharraf volte face on parliament

Islamabad, Aug. 20 (PTI): In an attempt to break the stalemate in Pakistan’s parliament forced by parties opposing his continuation as chief of army, President Pervez Musharraf has decided to face the Opposition head-on by addressing a joint session of the parliament.

Musharraf, who had earlier said that he would not like to face an “uncivilised” parliament, has changed his mind and asked Prime Minister Zafraullah Khan Jamali to work out a strategy for him to address a joint sitting of parliament, local daily The News reported today.

The Opposition, protesting against Musharraf holding two posts, has blocked parliamentary proceedings for the past 10 months.

So far, Musharraf has been puting off his mandatory address to the joint session in order to avoid a direct confrontation with the Opposition.

The country’s main political parties, which were agitating to end the military stranglehold and re-establish democratic rule, want Musharraf to take back his legal framework order (LFO), an administrative order issued by him before last year’s referendum to legalise his election as President, and constitutional amendments brought in by him to vest himself with powers to dissolve parliament.

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