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Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:14PM
Syed Tariq Pirzada, political and strategic analyst in an interview with Press TV

Syed Tariq Pirzada, political and strategic analyst in an interview with Press TV

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has nominated former Information Technology Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to succeed Yousaf Raza Gilani as prime minister. This comes after a court issued an arrest warrant for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, the first nominee of the party. The governing party on Friday named Raja Pervez Ashraf as its nominee for the post of premiership and the lower house of parliament has been summoned to vote in the new prime minister at 5:30 pm (1230 GMT). Ashraf served as information technology minister until the Supreme Court dismissed Premier Gilani on Tuesday. But what’s causing concern is that he too is dogged with allegations of corruption. The decision to replace Gilani followed a Tuesday ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which disqualified him from holding office retroactive to April 26 when he was convicted of contempt of court for failing to pursue alleged corruption charges against President Zardari. Gilani's disqualification spells a fresh political turmoil and the clash of institutions in Pakistan just months ahead of the widely-expected general elections. Press TV has conducted an interview with Syed Tariq Pirzada, political and strategic analyst, to hear his opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview, which was conducted hours before Raja Pervez Ashraf was appointed by the National Assembly of Pakistan as new prime minister. Press TV: First of all, do you think that Raja Pervez Ashraf is going to get that vote? Pirzada: Well you know he happens to be one of those ministers of the Zardari government who have been involved in major scandals and in the case of Mr. Pervez Ashraf the new nominee of the Peoples Party for the new prime minister of Pakistan, he was the first major minister of the Zardari government who became involved in the power plants scandal of the country. Power plants scandal means the power generation plants scandal and now even through this date we know that his name has not been cleared and as a matter of fact, the other irony of the fact is that he was actually taken to the court by another person who is now the sitting minister from a coalition party. And he is also a minister and he is the one who appeared as a witness against Mr. Pervez Ashraf in the court of law. So again a tainted candidate has been proposed for the name and the position of the prime minister in Pakistan and the third thing is that he will also be confronted with the reality that the court would ask him once he is approved by the parliament to write a letter to the Swiss authorities against Mr. Zardari, the issue that was the prime reason behind the downfall of Mr. Gilani, the former prime minister. Press TV: And that is the question that has been asked a lot Mr. Pirzada about the reason why Gilani himself was forced to step down for the contempt of court case and why did he stand up for Zardari at this cost and how much is this going to cost for the government of Zardari himself? Pirzada: Well if you look at the politics of the Peoples Party in Pakistan they are actually sending a message to the system and the stakeholders in the country, either we run the country the way we want to or we will take down the whole system with us. So already the members of the Peoples Party are saying that we will never write a letter. That means the new prime minister in this case Mr. Raja Pervez Ashraf, the nominee will never write a letter under the direction of the court against the president of Pakistan to the Swiss authorities. So they already have proposed this name with a clear agenda in mind that they would confront the court again, that they would not worry about the overall stability of the country if the court vote would let them run the country the way they want, they would literally ruin the whole society. And this confrontation if it continues either to the good offices of this new prime minister or any other future prime minister, it will be a bad news for the country. AHK/SS
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