Islamabad, July 03: With his proposed constitutional
amendments coming in for bitter criticism from mainstream
political parties and media, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has decided to hold a series of consultations with a
cross-section of society to hear objections.
Announcing this after a cabinet meeting here today,
Pakistan's information minister Nisar Memon told reporters
that Musharraf would begin his consultative process from later
The president is expected to meet editors, leaders of
friendly parties as well as community leaders, Memon said.
The proposed amendments, conferring special powers to the
president to sack elected prime ministers and parliament and
providing role in the government to the country's armed forces
through the formation of military-dominated National Security
Council, are expected to be finalised and promulgated after
July 31. The controversial amendments were released for a
debate two weeks ago.
Channels between the Musharraf government and political
and religious parties appeared to have completely broken down
after their refusal to attend his all party meet convened to
discuss the Indo-Pak tension few weeks ago.
The political parties, specially the 15-party umbrella
group Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD), have
demanded Musharraf's resignation.
Musharraf's decision to hold consultations follow reports
that the government may bar top three political parties --
Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif)
and Muttahida Qaumi Movement -- from contesting the general
elections on the grounds that the leaders of the parties were
convicted by courts for various charges.