Power vests in Pakistan PM's office, say experts

Islamabad, June 7 (ANI): Constitutional law experts in Pakistan have declared an end to the virtually presidential form of government, in vogue in the country for the past 14 years, following Nawaz Sharif's election as prime minister.

Constitutional law experts, former Supreme Court justices Wajihuddin Ahmed and Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, along with former interim law minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi agree with the view that the country has once again firmly turned towards a parliamentary form of government, reports The Express Tribune.

Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed said that former premiers Gilani and Ashraf were mere rubber stamps in a government controlled by Asif Ali Zardari as the President.

The situation was similar when Jamali and Aziz held the office of the prime minister under then president Gen (retd) Musharraf, he added.

Justice Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, who contested the presidential election against Asif Ali Zardari in 2008, termed the two former prime ministers a "post-office".

International law expert and caretaker minister, Soofi said that while constitutionally there has been a parliamentary form of government in the country, politically the presidential system was in practice.

Experts agreed that after the passage of the landmark 18th constitutional amendment, the president is a ceremonial head of the state who is bound to act under the advice of the prime minister.

The president's new powers are limited to giving assent to the national budget after its passage by Parliament, issuance of ordinances on the advice of the premier and address to the joint session of the parliament on the beginning of the new parliamentary year. (ANI)

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