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    » 02/22/2008, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Archbishop of Lahore: “the ballot box has decided, now let us work for democracy”

    Qaiser Felix

    President of the Bishop’s Conference, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, underlines that the election results have clearly shown the will of people for a civilian and constitutional management of power. A deal is reached between the Popels Party and Muslim League.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – In the elections, the people of Pakistana have “given a clear mandate in favour of a complete civilian and Constitutional rule, independence of judiciary, free media, more provincial autonomy, and a peaceful co-existence of religions and cultures”. This was underlined by the president of the bishop’s conference and Archbishop of Lahore, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, in a statement commenting the results of the recent parliamentary elections.

     

    The ballot box returned a landslide victory for the People’s Party and the Muslim League N: moreover the results highlight the crushing defeat of extremists fringes in tribal areas, where the Taliban dictate law.  In the text, co-signed by the secretary for the Justice and Peace Commission, Peter Jacob, the prelate adds: “the political parties and the civil society need to ensure that the people’s verdict is respected and the transition to democracy in the country takes place smoothly”.

     

    In light of this the Church “reiterates its stance that with other civil society actors, they shall continue to work for democracy in the country to build a culture of justice, peace and human rights”.

     

    In the interim, talks continue between the country’s political forces for the creation of the next government, which will be the result of a coalition.   Asif Zardari, widowed husband of Benazir Bhutto and co-president of the People’s Party yesterday evening announced that a deal had been reached with former premier and leader of the Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif: “There is still a long way to go, but ours will be a joint government”. Among issues on the agenda in the primary talks, a an impeachment request against President Musharraf (with charges laid against him for the coup carried out in November), and the restoration of the Supreme Court, decimated by the purge also carried out in November.

     

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    See also

    25/08/2008 PAKISTAN
    Sharif withdraws party from coalition government in Islamabad
    The unexpected break with the Peoples Party has taken Pakistani political circles by surprise. Dividing the parties that led Musharraf to resign are the choice of the next president, and the question of restoring the judges removed by the previous head of state.

    21/08/2008 PAKISTAN
    Terrorism on the offensive as the debate over a new president heats up
    At least 50 people are killed and dozens are hurt in a double suicide bomb attack against the country’s main defence industry complex. At the same time the country is starting to vet the candidacy of Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, to the presidency. Political parties are however split over the issue.

    06/09/2008 PAKISTAN
    Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's new president
    The president-elect, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, crushed the competition. His most urgent challenges include the fight against terrorism and the economic crisis. Voting marked by an attack in Peshawar that killed 16 people.

    13/05/2008 PAKISTAN
    Muslim League withdraws its ministers, plunging Pakistan government into crisis
    Out of 24 ministers nine are quitting over the failure to reinstate judges sacked by Musharraf. There is particular concern over the finance minister who was supposed to present the annual budget in a few weeks time.

    10/03/2008 PAKISTAN
    A new government within a month, prime minister from the Peoples Party
    Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, leaders of the majority parties, reached an agreement with the government yesterday: it will be made official within one month. The selection of the prime minister seems to have gone to Makhdoom Amin Fahim, an authoritative leader of the Peoples Party during the exile of Benazir Bhutto.



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