Pakistan: Punjab provincial assembly asks Musharraf to quit, huge cross-voting by PML-Q


Lahore/Islamabad : Pakistan’s ruling coalition’s move to impeach President Pervez Musharraf gained momentum after the Punjab provincial assembly voted overwhelmingly for a resolution asking him to quit or seek a vote of confidence in Parliament.

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The resolution moved by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was supported by 321 members in the 371-strong Punjab Assembly on Monday. Though the opposition PML-Q has 84 members in the assembly, only 25 members voted against it, indicating the lack of support for Musharraf among his allies.

The resolution called on parliament to move an impeachment motion against Musharraf if he does not resign or seek a vote of confidence. It also accused Musharraf of subverting, undermining and violating the constitution, derailing democracy and bringing the country to the brink of economic and political disaster.

Lawmakers chanted “Go Musharraf Go!” for several minutes, as the result of the voting was announced.

Though the adoption of the resolution by the Punjab assembly does not have any legal implications, the ruling coalition is hoping to mount pressure on Musharraf to quit through its passage.

The provincial assemblies of Sindh, North West Frontier Province and Balochistan are expected to pass similar resolutions this week. This will be followed by the tabling of the impeachment motion and a chargesheet against Musharraf in parliament.

Speaking to reporters in Lahore after the assembly had passed the resolution, PML-N president and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said martial law was bad for all countries but it was worse if members of an assembly passed resolutions in support of a dictator as was done in the past in the provincial assembly.