Pak opposition outlines charter of demands

Pak opposition outlines charter of demands

Islamabad: Pakistan’s two main opposition parties have drawn up a draft charter of demands to ensure free and fair parliamentary polls. However, they failed to reach consensus on the key issue of reinstating deposed Supreme Court judges, which will be referred to their top leadership.

Both Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N had formed an eight-member committee to frame the charter of demands to be presented to the government as a precondition for their participation in the 8 January general elections.

Following a meeting on 3 December, both the leaders had warned that they could boycott the polls if their conditions are not met.

After its third meeting on 6 December, the committee framed a 15-point draft charter of demands but failed to reach consensus on two main issues of reinstating deposed judges of the Supreme Court and restoring the Constitution.

PPP leader Raza Rabbani and PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that the draft charter will be presented to the top leadership of the two parties to come to a final decision. They, however, did not give details about the contents of the charter.

Asserting that the polls should be held as scheduled, Rabbani said there should be no postponement. Dar said the two sides agreed that there should be an independent judiciary, but indicated there were differences on the reinstatement of judges.

Both the opposition parties were also divided on whether the constitution should be restored to its original status, when Sharif was ousted in a bloodless coup by President Pervez Musharraf, or as of 3 November this year, when emergency was imposed.