The seemingly harmonious relationship between Pakistan's two ruling coalition parties has been put on the verge of breakup as they failed to reached a consensus on the issue of deposed judges.
The talks for restoration of judges between Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ended in failure in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday.
When the word about the failure of talks came to the PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, he unveiled a three-point agenda to the PML-N ministers, local TV channel DAWN NEWS reported.
At the first phase, the PML-N ministers are asked not to attend office; and then they will shun from cabinet meetings; the ministers are further required to pull out of the cabinet at the final stage, said the DAWN NEWS report.
A local newspaper The News Tuesday reported the PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif would leave for Dubai on Tuesday evening in a bid to end the stalemate in talks. It could be the last dialogue between Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the issue of deposed judges, local media reports said.
The PML-N delegation must have smelt a rat when the talks with PPP on the restoration of judges hit a deadlock on Monday. Zardari and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif discussed the issue of the reinstatement of the deposed judges and the overall political situation of the country. The talks also focused on the age limit of judges and the tenure of chief justice, besides passing of a resolution in the parliament for the reinstatement of the deposed judges with two-thirds majority.
The PML-N insisted that the judges should be restored before April 30 as per Murree declaration in March. Some PML-N senior leaders claim that the judges including former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should be restored unconditionally. However, PPP attaches more significance to the independence of judiciary and prefers to work out a constitutional package to resolve the issue.
It is reported that the tenure of chief justice would be limited according to PPP's proposed constitutional package. Chaudhry is deemed as an unpredictable person who is likely to open cases against the moves taken by President Pervez Musharraf after Nov. 3 last year.
Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan and sacked Chaudhry and other judges who declined to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) issued by Musharraf under the state of emergency.
Together with the PCO, Musharraf also promulgated a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which granted amnesty to politicians who faced charges within a specific period. Zardari was one of those who benefited from the NRO.