Zardari set to sweep Pak polls today
Pakistan’s parliament is set to elect Asif Ali Zardari as the country’s 14th president on Saturday in a special session summouned for this purpose in Islamabad, reports Kamal Siddiqi.Updated: Sep 06, 2008, 10:23 IST
Pakistan’s parliament is set to elect Asif Ali Zardari as the country’s 14th president on Saturday in a special session summouned for this purpose in Islamabad.
Provincial assembles will also meet in the provincial capitals as they also form part of the electoral college to vote in a president. As things stand, Asif Ali Zardari is favouirite for the position as his party and its coalition allies enjoy strong support in both the centre and the provinces.
Pakistanis are, however, reacting differently to the possibility of Mr Zardari becoming their president. Shafqat Mehmood. a senator, comments in a column in a local English language daily that Zardari is a controversial figure who has been accused of all kinds of crime and while he has been convicted in none, it “has left a large residue of presumtive guilt.” Mehmood says that this is “not acceptable to both civil and military bureaucracies as well as the emerging middle class.”
In his comments, politican Imran Khan has said that only in Pakistan can a person who has been accused of so many crimes, be given a clean slate under a government ordinance. “Zardari got indemnity from Musharraf and Musharraf will get a clean slate from Zardari. Its a case of one scratching the other’s back. It is shameful,” commented Khan, who heads the Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
Former coalition allies, PML-N party has put up its own candidate. Retired Justice Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, the party’s candidate, however, does not enjoy the support of MPs to make any serious challenge to Zardari’s candidature, say analysts. Justice Siddiqui was made chief justice in the tenure of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister.
Missile strike kills five
At least three children were killed on Friday when missiles fired by an unmanned aircraft hit a house in a Pakistani tribal border area, officials said.
Three women were also injured in the attack, the third strike in as many days in the area and blamed on Afghanistan-based international forces. US-led forces attacked a tribal village this week, killing 15 people including women and children, according to Pakistani officials, an attack condemned by Pakistan as shameful and unjustified.