The Pakistani government is preparing the ground for President Pervez Musharraf’s honourable exit from office by indemnifying him against the steps he took after declaring an emergency last November.
Musharraf “has offered to resign in return for indemnity by parliament for his unconstitutional steps taken on November 3, 2007,” The News reported on Wednesday, quoting unidentified sources.
Law minister Farooq H Naek was vague on the issue. “Wait and see. Everything is open as of today,” he said.
Musharraf’s offer to quit was made during recent rounds of negotiations between the presidency and representatives of ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the constitutional package the party has prepared. “It came through when the Aiwan-i-Sadr (President’s House) realised that the PPP would restore all the judges (Musharraf had sacked in November) and clip the presidential powers,” The News quoted its sources as saying.
“A powerless presidency with the pre-November 3 judges back in the saddle was not an acceptable option for Musharraf. Hence the offer to step down in return for his support for the passage by parliament of the 18th (constitutional) amendment,” it said.