Pakistan's Zardari Under Pressure to Resign

Opposition pressures embattled prez to quit or surrender powers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2009 9:50 AM CST
In this Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 file photo, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zadari, left, and his daughter Asifa Bhutto Zadari, right, pose for the photographers in London,   (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's main opposition party demanded today that President Asif Ali Zardari relinquish much of his power amid calls for the unpopular leader to assume a ceremonial role or resign. Zardari inherited sweeping powers from military dictator Pervez Musharraf, and had promised to return them to the prime minister—but has been accused of foot-dragging by angry opposition.

On Friday, Zardari transferred command of the country's nuclear arsenal to the PM and promised to surrender other key powers by the end of the year. A military coup appears unlikely, as does impeachment, but the opposition has not called for street rallies, perhaps wary of pushing the country into chaos. The strife comes just as the Obama administration is to announce its Afghanistan strategy, of which a vital component is political stability in Pakistan.

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