Zardari set to address parliament

Pakistan's new president is to address his country's legislators for the first time.

    In his speech, Zardari is expected to
    outline his political agenda [EPA]

    "It is normally a speech prepared by the government in which the president reviews the entire working of the government and enunciates its domestic and foreign policies," Babar said.

    'Important event'

    Zardari summoned both houses of parliament to meet at 09:00 GMT for his address, a government statement said.

    IN FOCUS

    The widower of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Zaradri was sworn into office on September 9.

    He was elected by legislators to replace Pervez Musharraf, the former president who stepped down under threat of impeachment.

    Musharraf addressed the parliament only once during his eight-year rule, and on that occassion opposition politicians chanted hostile slogans.

    When the government pushed Musharraf to resign in August, one of their complaints was his failure to address parliament on an annual basis, in line with his constitutional commitments.

    Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said: "The nation has a lot of expectations. They want to hear from their new president [reasons] why he has been silent about the American incursions and whether he is on board as far as the mood in the country is concerned.

    "He is supposed to be making a policy speech defining the future line of action on foreign policy, domestic issues, as well as the spiraling prices and of course the state of the economy will figure prominently.

    "Of course everybody will be anticipating to hear all the right things, whether the president will be able to deliver on those or not is something that we will have to wait for," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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