No dictator can trample the constitution again: Zardari
Set to be stripped of his sweeping powers, President Asif Ali Zardari today said the draft constitutional reforms package tabled in parliament will ensure that "no dictator can trample the constitution" again.world Updated: Apr 04, 2010 20:41 IST
Set to be stripped of his sweeping powers, President Asif Ali Zardari today said the draft constitutional reforms package tabled in parliament will ensure that "no dictator can trample the constitution" again.
He said the reforms package will also ensure the rights of the people and the provinces of Pakistan as envisioned by late premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Zardari made the remarks while addressing a gathering after inaugurating a health facility at Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh province.
His comments come a day before he is to address a joint session of the Senate and National Assembly, which will debate 'The constitutional reforms package, popularly referred to as the '18th amendment,' from Tuesday.
The proposed reforms will strip the President of many powers, including the ability to dissolve Parliament and the authority to dismiss Prime Minister and appoint the three service chiefs and other top officials.
The reforms package will also remove changes made to the constitution by military rulers.
"We will continue to fight for our rights and those of the masses, without any fear of sacrifice," said Zardari, who also heads the ruling Pakistan People's Party.
The PPP will continue to render sacrifices for the rights of the people and for strengthening state institutions through democratic measures, he added.
A country gains strength only when the people and the provinces are given their due rights, he said.
"We will continue to serve Pakistan and its people even at the cost of our lives. We raised the slogan of a united Pakistan even at a time when there was a funeral in our home," he said, referring to the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto in 2007.
Zardari said some people might have desired that the government should have adopted the constitutional amendments much earlier but there "was a time for everything and the amendments were being done now as the necessary consensus was there".
The PPP's top leadership have gathered in Naudero and Garhi Khuda Baksh to observe the death anniversary of the party's founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
A meeting of the PPP's central executive committee held last night reposed complete confidence in Zardari's leadership at a time when the Supreme Court is pushing the government to reopen graft cases against him in Switzerland.