Zardari stripped of vital powers
Pakistan's national assembly yesterday voted unanimously to approve reforms stripping President Asif Ali Zardari of key powers in a move to bolster parliamentary democracy weakened by military rule.
It also abolished the president's special powers, including the right to dissolve parliament, through an amendment of the constitution, a media report said.
The 18th amendment was approved by 292 votes in favour and no votes against, among those present in the 342-member national assembly, announced lower house speaker Fahmida Mirza.
The bill now needs approval of the senate, or upper house, to become law.
Members of parliament celebrated their approval of the 102-clause bill with a prolonged thumping of the desks in front of their seats in the chamber.
"It is a matter of celebration for all the democratic parties. Feelings of joy are visible in the house," said Mirza.
"This is a historic day for all of us," she said.
Lawmakers chanted slogans against former military rulers when the house endorsed the clauses declaring Pervez Musharraf's October 12, 1999 coup as illegal and erased Zia ul Haq's name from the constitution.
The National Assembly or the lower house of the parliament, has unanimously approved the termination of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, Xinhua reported citing officials.
The assembly has adopted Section-2 of the Constitutional Reforms Bill (18th Amendment) relating to the elimination of the 17th Amendment introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
Last week, the political parties had approved the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms.
The 17th amendment to the constitution gave sweeping powers to the president, including power to dissolve the national and provincial assemblies.
The National Assembly has also decided to rename the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa.