Monday, August 25, 2008

Sharif Resigns From Pakistani Government

After giving Asif Ali Zardari a Wednesday deadline to reinstate Chaudhry and the other judges sacked by Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif pushed the deadline up to Monday. Not surprisingly, Zardari didn't budge. So Sharif has resigned from the Pakistani government and will sit with the opposition. Back in June, Sharif had withdrawn his Ministers although he did continue to support Zardari on an issue by issue basis.

It appears also that Sharif will back someone from the Pakistan Muslim League-N to run against Zardari for the Pakistani Presidency on September 6th. However, Zardari and the Pakistan People's Party appear to have sufficient support from smaller parties necessary for him to be elected President.

I do think the judges should have been reinstated long ago. Musharraf's heavy handedness began with the judges and ended with detaining opposition figures. Yes, Zardari fears that old corruption charges would be reinstated against him if he were to restore the judges. But one would think that Chaudhry would have some gratitude at being reinstated by Zardari and might be inclined not to reinstate the charges as a gesture of good will.

All of this maneuvering is part of politics. However, given the violence that has been ongoing in Pakistan at the hands of the Taliban and the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear nation people are not inclined to have a lot of confidence in the future of Pakistani democracy with today's developments.

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