Musharraf Rivals Join Forces
Posted on Mar 9, 2008
It wasn’t a good Sunday for Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as the leaders of Pakistan’s two biggest opposition parties agreed to set aside enough of their differences to form a coalition. Their first order of business is to strip the president of a number of his powers.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari aren’t exactly the best of friends, but they have a common enemy in Musharraf. It will be interesting to see how they govern if they are ever successful at marginalizing the general.
It will also be interesting to watch the Bush administration react to the diminishing prestige of one of its biggest allies in the Muslim world.
New York Times:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The leaders of the two major political parties, in an unexpectedly strong show of unity against President Pervez Musharraf, agreed Sunday that they would reinstate judges fired by the president and would seek to strip him of crucial powers.
The power sharing deal, announced by Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the largest party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, and Nawaz Sharif, the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, represented another tough challenge to the already waning authority of Mr. Musharraf, a favorite ally of the Bush administration.
The two men, appearing at a news conference together in the resort area of Bhurban, said they would seek to remove the president’s power to dissolve the Pakistani Parliament and his power to appoint the chiefs of the military services. Together, the two parties control just shy of two-thirds of the Parliament after an election last month in which Mr. Musharraf’s party was routed.