“I have a dream for Pakistan”
usman .......A Critique of Zardari’s Plan                
Deputy Director, IPCS, New Delhi “I have a dream for Pakistan. My dream is to free this great country from the shackles of poverty, hunger, terrorism and disunity and I know that as law makers you too share the dream” - Asif Ali Zardari’s maiden speech in the Parliament Hours before the devastating suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on 20 September 2008, Asif Ali Zardari addressed both houses of the Parliament as the President of Pakistan. The speech of the President, in a Parliamentary democracy normally reflects the roadmap that the government intends to pursue. From curtailing the powers of the President to conducting foreign relations, Zardari’s dream encompassed every aspect of Pakistan’s life. This essay is a critique of Zardari’s diagnosis and prescriptions of these vital internal issues, which include the powers of the President, restoring the judiciary, and a road map for Balochistan and FATA I ROLE OF THE PARLIAMENT Zardari in his speech underlined the supremacy of the Parliament: “As head of state, I wish to make it clear, that the President and the government must and always seek guidance from the parliament in carrying out our duties. We are committed to upholding the supremacy of constitution, the supremacy of the parliament and the rule of law…As a democratically elected President of Pakistan, I call upon the parliament to form an all party committee to revisit the 17th Amendment and article 58-2(b). Never before in the history of this country has a President stood here and given away his powers.” Will Zardari be really keen on letting the Parliament reduce the powers of the President? This is an important issue, which will greatly shape the political stability in Pakistan over the next few months. In particular, article 58 -2(b) empowers the President to dismiss the Parliament and Provincial Assemblies. Since the PPP government has formed the...