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Constitutional amendment bill to be tabled in Pak Parl tomorrow

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today said Pakistan government will table a Constitutional reforms package in Parliament tomorrow to fulfil a pledge to remove changes made to the Constitution by previous military regimes, amid reports that it contains amendments aimed at cutting the President's sweeping powers.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2010 15:33 IST

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today said Pakistan government will table a Constitutional reforms package in Parliament tomorrow to fulfil a pledge to remove changes made to the Constitution by previous military regimes, amid reports that it contains amendments aimed at cutting the President's sweeping powers.

He said the 18th Constitutional amendment bill, based on recommendations made by a Constitutional reforms committee comprising Parliamentarians, will be a step forward in the light of the Charter of Democracy, which was signed between the now ruling PPP and opposition PML-N in 2006.

"We had promised the nation (that we would remove changes made to the Constitution by earlier military regimes) and now we will fulfil it," Gilani said, referring to the 18th amendment bill.

He was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition marking the completion of two years by the Pakistan People's Party-led government at the centre.

Though Gilani did not give details about the Constitutional reforms package, media reports said it contains wide-ranging amendments aimed at stripping the President of sweeping powers, including the authority to appoint the service chiefs and dissolve Parliament.

The package will be tabled in the Senate and National Assembly tomorrow and President Asif Ali Zardari will address a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.

One-fourth of the Constitution's articles are likely to be amended by the package.

The parliamentary committee that framed the package has suggested over 100 amendments to 70 articles of the Constitution, the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.