Expert: Ouster of Pakistan PM Could Be 'Positive Development' For Rule of Law

Pakistan is without a cabinet after Supreme Court of Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry dismissed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday for not complying with court orders to investigate a corruption inquiry on President Asif Ali Zardari; furthermore, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, nominated for Prime Minister by Pakistan People’s Party Thursday morning, has already been disqualified and issued an arrest warrant over allegations of drug-trafficking. Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son, Ali Musa Gilani, has also been linked to the case and a warrant is out for his non-bailable arrest.

Asia Society Senior Advisor Hassan Abbas, a former Pakistani government official and professor at National Defense University, told CNN yesterday that amid the turmoil there is a silver lining.

"This is in some ways a positive development," Abbas said on the show Amanpour. "[The] Supreme Court took a very clear decision — a very important decision— took on the executive authority, and then the political side, the President, the Prime Minister, they accepted this decision… They are listening to the rule of law…Democracy has its ups and downs and it takes time for any country to establish these institutions...The last 60 years has proved the people of Pakistan — that every time there was a military dictator, they went against him, they pushed the military dictatorship out, and struggled to get democracy back on its feet. It is going to take some time…The hope is, if democratic processes are allowed to continue… that will stabilize things."

Skip to 2:55 for Abbas' analysis.

About the Author

Profile picture for user Sherley Wetherhold
Sherley Wetherhold is an Asia Blog contributor. A New York City native, she has spent much of her life in Asia Pacific and has a predilection for mutton kebabs and a good pot of tea.