Pakistan military gets political power

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has approved a controversial bill setting up a National Security Council which critics say would give the military a political role.

    President Musharraf is also Pakistan's army chief

    The NSC bill has already been passed by the two houses of Pakistani parliament.

    Officials said it was forwarded to Musharraf, who approved the bill on Monday.

     

    The new law calls for establishing a 13-member National Security Council made up of military chiefs and nine civilian leaders to shape policy on national security issues.

     

    Musharraf, who is also the country's army chief, will head the council, which he says will only be a "consultative" body.

     

    But critics have charged the council will give military brass a say in the policies of a democratically-elected government.

     

    Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in October 1999, held elections in October 2002.

     

    The main opposition Pakistan People's Party of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has vowed it would overturn the new law when it gains the parliamentary strength to do so.

     

    Pakistan has been ruled by generals for almost half of its 57-year history.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.