`Situation in Pak moving towards confrontation`

Experts foresee a situation of "head-on confrontation" where the judiciary, military and executive will try to assert themselves.

New York: With the Pakistani Supreme Court
talking tough to the country`s government over its inaction
against high-profile corruption cases, experts foresee a
situation of "head-on confrontation" where the judiciary,
military and executive will try to assert themselves.

The New York Times quoted Lahore-based political and
military analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi as saying in a report that
"the situation is fast moving towards a head-on
confrontation," given the Supreme Court`s threat to take
action against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing
to act on a court order to reopen high-profile corruption
cases, including those against President Asif Ali Zardari, and
the government`s rigid refusal to act on the court`s orders.

"If the court disqualifies the prime minister and the
prime minister continues to enjoy the support of the
Parliament, then the stage is set for a very dangerous
confrontation," Rizvi said.

He added the legal standoff has shifted the government`s
focus from important issues like rescuing a failing economy
and fighting Taliban insurgents to concentrating only on its
political survival.

"The court, the military and the executive are trying to
assert themselves," he said.

"It has become a free-for-all."

The New York Times report said Pakistan`s judiciary, led
by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is not buying
into claims by Zardari that he enjoys immunity as president.

The judiciary has instead aggressively pursued cases
against his party, "leading many government officials to
speculate that the judiciary was being used by the country’s
powerful military to dismiss the government before the March
elections for the Senate, in which the Pakistan Peoples Party
is expected to win a majority."

Political analysts also said the fate of Gilani was "in

A day after the five-member panel of the Supreme Court
said Gilani was "dishonest" for failing to act on the court
order to reopen the corruption cases, the Pakistan`s coalition
government, led by Pakistan People`s Party, decided to
urgently call a session of parliament tomorrow.


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