Fatima Bhutto Hails Move to Reduce Zardari's Powers

New Delhi
Fatima Bhutto Hails Move to Reduce Zardari's Powers
Hailing moves in Pakistan that may lead to reduction in the power of President Asif Ali Zardari, Fatima Bhutto, niece of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said there should not be two different laws for the powerful and the common citizens.

"We are yet to see the law passed. It is important that now we are talking about it but in the first place I don't think or believe that Presidents or those in power should be be granted immunity."

"There should not be a law for the powerful and a law for the ordinary citizens. In fact those in power should be scrutinised even more closely and more severely than ordinary citizens," Fatima, who is here for the launch of her book Songs of Blood and Sword said.

On Friday, problems appeared to multiply for beleaguered Zardari after the government there brought in a landmark bill that could strengthen Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's hands while stripping the President of his sweeping powers.

Asked how she saw the future of Zardari government, Fatima said, "I don't know. Looking how his government has conducted itself, it has allowed American drones to fly over our country and kill hundreds if not thousands of civilians. So how his own regime will come to an end is a question that many people wonder about."

She added, "I think at the moment we are just worried trying to live in his regime. We are not trying to figure out how his regime will end, we are just trying to survive at the moment in the Zardari regime."

Responding to a query on how she rated the present government headed by her aunt's husband, she said, "You know I think a country that is watching its President, before he was President, fighting corruption cases in Switzerland, Spain, France, UK, Pakistan and four murder cases, has a very clear answer of what kind of leadership you are going to get."

She rejected that there was a lack of political will in Pakistan to stop terrorism.

"Well, I think there is a political will in Pakistan to stop terrorism. Certainly terrorism is nobody's interest but I think to make a statement like that is a really dangerous one because it assumes that that is all we share between the two countries.

"There is violence on both sides of these borders and ultimately if we want peace, we will have to empower the people to choose," she said.

She said a lot of Pakistanis watching the Mumbai terror attack understood them "because we live in the same sort of attacks."

"There is terror on both sides. In this entire region, you look at India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, these are all countries that have faced a lot of violence, lots of attacks on their people but ultimately I think there has to be a line drawn between the two governments, who are not like siblings and who have difficulties ... When you look at people, one see a lot of similarities than differences."
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