The new Parliament of Pakistan has assembled for the first time post-election, and they have an ambitious list to tackle. Some of the priorities are:
- Ask for a UN probe to investigate the Asassination of Benazir Bhutto
- Strip President Musharraf of the power to dismiss Parliament and the new Prime Minister
- Re-instate the Judges Musharraf dismissed and put in detention
This is political, and items two and three are ways to limit Musharraf. They make sense, and most in Pakistan support them, with the likelihood being that Musharraf’s Presidency will be called into question if the Wardi, or Uniform case against him is brought back.
I would say the parliament needs to focus on other urgent things immediately as well:
- Al Qaeda / Taliban insurrection
- Rising food prices
- Trade Agreements and other Economic stimuli
Behind the scenes you still have factions and frictions within the largest party of the ruling coalition, the PPP. Note this.
[Note about the government in flux: post-election designation of the PM candidate for PPP has caused a schism in the party between Zardari and Fahim factions over who’s going to which position, as Zardari’s corruption cases are set aside it appears more likely that Fahim will be set aside. There’s also behind the scenes jockeying — if the Justices are re-instated, then it’s possible that Musharraf could be removed from the presidency, thus opening another position. Handicappers on what’s going on here are all over the map.] UPDATE TO POLITICAL NOTE: Fahim Scuppered.
Also note this interview with Musharraf – it comes close to a “setting up a legacy” discussion, a possible sign that he might resign in good faith before all of the above comes to a head.
This article paints the grim picture of how Pakistan is learning to live as a state under siege from extremists.
Adil Najam has excellent analysis here, I agree with most of what he says but for one thing.
The two greatest living enemies of the US and their organization are hosted in Pakistan. Either Pakistan needs to get them, or we will, and that’s the end of that discussion. We will neither forget or give up, and this isn’t going to go away if you ignore it until 2009.