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August 17, 2008

Tarar satisfied with impeachment move


August 17, 2008

ISLAMABAD: Former president Muhammad Rafiq Tarar is happy over the democratic forces' decision to oust President Pervez Musharraf and is increasingly optimistic about democracy taking firms root in Pakistan after his exit, The News learnt here on Saturday.

"The former president is happy over the recent developments, especially the ruling coalition going all-out against Musharraf," sources close to Rafiq Tarar said when this correspondent tried to get his views on the proposed impeachment move against the person who had sent him packing.

These sources pointed out that the ex-president had almost completely detached himself from politics after the homecoming of Pakistan Muslim League's Quaid Nawaz Sharif. He was not prepared even to talk to the media anymore. Rafiq Tarar remained the head of state from January 01, 1998 to June 20, 2001. The incumbent President Musharraf had replaced him afterwards.

Rafiq Tarar, now about 78, played his part in the ongoing movement for the independence of judiciary and was even beaten up in one of demonstrations. He had also served as the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

However, his daughter-in-law Saira Afzal Tarar, when contacted on telephone, expressed the hope that President Musharraf would resign prior to the impeachment proceedings.

"I believe like almost every Pakistani that Pervez Musharraf should have resigned on February 18 after his own created PML, and allies were knocked out," she said while talking to The News here.

She said that the situation Musharraf was facing today was bound to ultimately precipitate, as his disastrous policies had put Pakistan under serious threats.

Saira Afzal made her way to the National Assembly from Hafizabad-I (NA-102) on a PML-N ticket, defeating Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians' Shaukat Hayat Awan and Shoukat Ali Bhatti of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid).

The lady parliamentarian was upbeat that the beleaguered

president would not be able to bear the mounting pressure after the four elected provincial assemblies had passed resolutions, asking him to either get vote of confidence or quit.

She was astonished and at the same time unable to understand the basis on which Musharraf was still trying to hold his ground. "The president seems to have the conception that even now he can make a move to outsmart his opponents," she observed.

Saira Afzal was of the firm opinion that two or three so-called constitutional experts, who had been around him for several years, were bent upon misguiding him to adopt a wait-and-see policy and then look for options to wriggle out of the present crisis, the severest ever since he took over in October 1999.

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