President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to grace and address the Joint Session of the two houses, in preparation Mr. Asif Zardari made a swift preparatory powder and puff exit to Dubai while his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has in turn made his way to Pakistan and will most likely expected to grace the visitors gallery along with his sisters on Saturday whilst his father carefullyplaces the picture of their slain mother on the dais to address the nation.
Typically the speech was expected to have been a garlanding speech for the PPP to have fulfilled Benazir Bhuttos’s promise, he would generally have returned the cordial pat on the back to Nawaz Sharif [returning the favor where Nawaz Sharif gentle tapped the shoulders of Yousuf Raza Gilani on his visit to Raiwind a few days back]. it would have followed through with some simple announcements regarding the Governor rule in Punjab and even maybe a few cordial cabinet seats handouts to PML-N in a show of friendship and support – BUT
What has been making waves in the past few days was a few wishful thinking writers suggesting that Asif Ali Zardari might be contemplating on handing over the Article 58-2(b) and maybe even making serious inroads into hacking the 17th Amendment as reported by Mubashir Hassan in an op-ed published in The Nation yesterday
President Asif Ali Zardari has decided in principle to abdicate his power to dissolve National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies, and he will make a formal announcement in this regard during his address to joint sitting of the Parliament on March 28. According to PPP sources, the President has also made up his mind to end Governor’s Rule in Punjab, and he may make the decision public in the same address.
Ideally if he were to ‘voluntarily‘ shed these executive powers, then I suspect it would literally deflate the PML-N’s [post Long March] walk in the clouds and PPP would easily claim a thumping victory hailed by millions of Pakistanis as a true example of political democracy, such a decision could potentially transform Asif Zardari from a shady politician into a true leader. But, this scenario may have potentially been dreamt in the clouds as it would be difficult for Asif Ali Zardari to relinquish this coveted seat of power so easily and without batting so much as an eye.
My guess is this speech on Saturday will only be mere promises and mere words, apart from the executive order to end Governor Raj in Punjab nothing else will emerge to have any significant importance. The question that lingers in everyone’s mind is how long with PML-N will remain bed partners with the PPP. The silver lining on the clouds is evident that the next tussle will be yet again on the streets in regards to the 17th Amendment which would have been spurred on by continued rampant corruption by the executive.
The twig that may break the camels back soon will be the result of some confrontation taken by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry and Asif Zardari. The newly reinstated CJP is already seen stepping on one too many toes and is even slated to have refused a dinner invitation by Asif Zardari – the 10-count has begun.