December 23, 2009 9:05:05 am
With Pakistan’s Supreme Court scrapping a graft amnesty to President Asif Ali Zardari,the US envoy for the region on Wednesday said a “major political drama” is unfolding there,even as he spoke of America’s “dilemma” about fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban forces on Pakistani soil.
“Even as we talk,there’s a major political drama unfolding in Islamabad right now,” Richard Holbrooke,the US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan,told Charlie Rose of the PBS news channel.
“Well,it’s a very complicated story,but in essence (then) President (Pervez) Musharraf and (PPP Chairperson) Benazir Bhutto cut a deal to suspend (corruption cases) — they passed a decree called the National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO) which gave amnesty to all members of Benazir Bhutto’s party,including her husband (Zardari) and herself,” he said.
He noted that Pakistan’s Supreme Court in the last few days has said that all the people — over 8,000 — who were given amnesty in graft cases were now open for re-prosecution.
“So that involved several ministers,including ministers of Interior (Rehman Malik),Defence (Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar) who have now been told they can’t leave the country,” Holbrooke said.
“So a tremendous political drama is now unfolding that involves the (ruling) PPP,the opposition party (PML-N) of Nawaz Sharif … the Pakistani military under General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani,and the Supreme Court of Pakistan,plus public opinion. And how it’s going to come out remains to be seen,” he said.
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