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Pakistani President To Sign Constitutional Amendment Bill Curbing Powers

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to sign into law today a bill that imposes sweeping constitutional reforms that will remove from the Pakistani head of state the power to dissolve parliament and sack the prime minister.

Lawmakers in the lower and upper houses of Pakistan's parliament this month approved the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The reforms will significantly weaken the powers of the head of state that were amassed by military dictators Pervez Musharraf and Zia ul Haq.

The amendment also formally changes the name of the North West Frontier Province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last week described the approval of the bill as a "victory for democracy."

compiled from agency reports