Archive for September, 2010

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Musharraf warns of new military coup in Pakistan

September 30, 2010

LONDONFormer president Pervez Musharraf warned on Wednesday that Pakistan’s military could launch another coup, as he prepared to launch a new party and rejoin the country’s turbulent politics.

The retired general said army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani could be forced to intervene against the government of President Asif Ali Zardari which he said had failed to tackle rampant militancy and a crumbling economy.

Musharraf cited as evidence a reported crisis meeting this week between Kayani, Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Asked whether he thought there was a likelihood of a new coup, he told the Intelligence Squared debating forum in London: “Well, you see the photographs of the meeting with the president and the prime minister and I can assure you they were not discussing the weather. There was a serious discussion of some kind or other and certainly at this moment all kinds of pressures must be on this army chief.”

The 67-year-old said similar “pressures” when he was head of the army from 1998 to 1999 had led him to launch the coup against then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “In that one year Pakistan was going down and a number of people, including politicians, women, men, came to me telling me ‘Why are you not acting? Are you going to act for Pakistan’s good?” Musharraf said. “Now I am in a dilemma — the army chief, what does he do? There is no constitutional provision, what does he do?”

Musharraf said the armed forces need to play a larger political role, as he discussed plans for his own bid to return to power as a civilian. Musharraf confirmed that he would launch a new political party in London on Friday to contest the next elections in 2013 but refused to say when he would return to Pakistan, where he could face treason charges.

He said the army should have a constitutional role, rather than an informal position in the country’s leadership and asserted that the army should play its part in keeping checks and balances and ensuring good governance. He was speaking in a public interview with former British ambassador to the US Christopher Meyer.

He said Zardari’s government had failed adequately to deal with Pakistan’s moribund economy, the threat from Taliban militants, and the after effects from devastating floods earlier this year. Pakistan’s powerful military has ruled the country for over half of the country’s existence since independence from Britain in 1947.

Meanwhile, analysts have pointed to rumours that the military is gearing up to engineer an alternative to President Asif Ali Zardari’s elected government. They suggest Musharraf could carve out a space for himself as a negotiator between the military and civilian leadership.

Musharraf is set to unveil the manifesto of his newly launched All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) on October 1. His claims that he can become the president of the country once again have drawn scorn from political rivals. The ruling PPP government has said that Musharraf will have to face the courts upon his return.

Source: The Express Tribune

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Musharraf better than many politicians

September 30, 2010

“Column from Dallas” by Saeed Qureshi

One quality that distinguishes Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf over other luminaries in politics is that while others usually take cover under the lame excuses and try to justify their misdeeds, he has the candidness to confess and acknowledge his wrong decisions. For instance, he has said many a time that his decision to first suspend and then sack the chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was essentially erratic. Also, he confessed publically too that the impostion of the state of emergency way back in November 2007 was not only unconstitutional but also politically incorrect. It should be noted that it was a 12-member Supreme Court panel that on May 12, 2000 unanimously validated the October 1999 coup and granted Musharraf executive and legislative authority for 3 years from the coup date.

Again, in January 2004 Musharraf won a vote of confidence in the Electoral College of Pakistan, consisting of both houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies by receiving 658 out of 1170 votes. As such his governance and remaining in office was legally and constitutionally justified. Pervez Musharraf is coming to Dallas on October 15 to launch the local chapter of his political party, “All Pakistan Muslim League”. Here in Dallas he will meet various important people besides the media. He will also address a select gathering of his well-wishers, and party members. The announcement contained in a flyer says “Dinner with former President Pervez Musharraf at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2010 Hotel Intercontinental addison, tex.” An additional line further elaborates the purpose of Musharraf’s visit to Dallas, which is “Dinner, speech, and Question & Answer session.”

Barring a few controversial decisions, Pervez Musharraf has been successful in bringing about certain far-reaching reforms in Pakistan. Notwithstanding the urge to remain in power which human beings have in abundance because they are not angels, Musharraf’s era was relatively known as economically strong. His role in liberating media from the official strangleholds and empowering the women folks cannot be denied even by worst of his detractors.

Now as part of rooting out extremism and curbing separatist and fissiparous tendencies of regional leader like Akbar Bugti, he had to take certain unpalatable and tough decisions. In normal circumstances these decisions could have been appreciated but their positive side was eclipsed because of the extremely hostile propaganda whipped by his antagonist political parties and domineering clergy and fire-spitting religious circles. Musharraf received the displeasure of the religious lobbies because of his 180-degree tilt and support for the American war in Afghanistan. Otherwise, these are the same religious elements that were part of the group that voted for him to keep both the offices of the COAS and the president of Pakistan.

If Pervez Musharraf were to make a plausible case for his return to Pakistan and take part in politics under the banner of his newly founded political party, “All Pakistan Muslim League”, his following achievements would stand in good stead for him. (1) He established 47 universities including the Virtual University, under the supervision of Higher Education Commission. (2) During his presidency, the poverty level came down from 34% to 24% while the living standards of the people improved considerably. (3) In early 2007, Mushrraf according to a survey was more popular than Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. (4) It was during his time that “Women’s Protection Bill”, was made a law in December 2006. The bill placed the rape laws under the penal code and removed the untenable condition of producing four male witnesses by the female victim to prove adultery. (5) His government increased reserved seats for women in both national and provincial assemblies. In the National Assembly, these were increased from 20 to 60. In provincial assemblies, 128 seats were reserved for women. This situation gave greater effective participation of women in elections and decision-making. (6) He abolished the separate electorate for the religious minorities and put curbs on extremist and sectarian groups. (7) According to Transparency International, Pakistan had improved its ratings during Musharraf’s presidency, from being the 11th most corrupt country down to 41st, a significant image improvement.

In the backdrop of a hostile atmosphere in certain circles against him, former president will have to contend with formidable challenges both to his life and political career. It should also be seen how much public support he receives and which political parties would be ready to forge alliances with his party. He will have to go through an adjudication process, which can be prolonged. It is not possible to foretell if the courts would give him a temporary reprieve to indulge in practical politics or not. The prime minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani sarcastically remarked the other day that Musharraf would be welcomed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. This is a very ominous statement. The Law minister known for his caustic sarcasm and pungent repartee said that those who want dictatorship were either in graveyard or in England alluding to former president Zia and president Musharraf, both army generals by profession. But politics being a game of wits, scoring points, making alliances and shifting positions, no one can conclusively figure out whether Musharraf would be stuck in the roadblocks or move forward towards his political goalpost.

—The writer is a Dallas-based freelance journalist.

Source: Pak Observer

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Universities on strike

September 22, 2010

Source: Daily Express, 22nd September 2010

Click on the picture image to view in proper resolution or click on the link of Daily Express.

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Pervez Musharraf at London Heathrow Airport

September 21, 2010
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Musharraf urges all stakeholders to find Kashmir solution

September 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Sunday urged all stakeholders to find a political solution for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. Talking to a private news channel, Musharraf said all the political forces should step forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute. He urged the government to commence a dialogue process with India and other stakeholders to find a just solution for the occupied valley and inform the international community about human rights violations which Indian forces are committing against innocent Kashmiris. The former president termed Kashmir an integral part of Pakistan. Appreciating the role of the Pakistan Army against the war on terrorism, Musharraf said the army had remained successful in defeating terrorists, as well as providing relief in flood-affected areas. To a question, he said the Pakistan People’s Party-led government had been elected through a democratic process, and had the right to complete its five-year tenure. (APP)

Source: Daily Times

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Musharraf’s new party receiving overwhelming response, claims aide

September 18, 2010

Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf ‘s newly formed party- All Pakistan Muslim League (APML)- is receiving ‘overwhelming’ response from the public in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and people from all strata of society are eager to join the party, an aide to the former president has claimed.

“The APML has already been launched officially. We have started its organisational and membership campaign, and got an overwhelming response from the people,” The News quoted Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, convener of the Musharraf-led political party, as saying.

Informing that they had applied for the registration of the party in March 2010, Saif said that Musharraf would announce his political vision and programme on October 1, and also pointed out that APML’s manifesto was clear from its name, that it would be Islamic and not secular.

Musharraf’s spokesman Rashid Qureshi said that there was a serious leadership crisis in the country and only Musharraf could steer it out of problems.

“Musharraf is an upright person. He is really concerned about Pakistan and wants to serve the nation in this hour of trial,” he argued, adding that there were no corruption charges against the former ruler, and during his era the country was making progress in all sectors.

Musharraf announced a ten million rupees aid from his own pocket towards the relief of flood victims and also collected a sum of 260 million rupees through a telethon, added Qureshi.

Talking of legal implications for Musharraf on his return to Pakistan, Saif stressed, “There are only two cases – killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and keeping judges in Islamabad habeas corpus – against him, which would be defended in the court of law upon his return to the country.”

“As far as Article 6 is concerned, if any case is moved against him we will devise a strategy to defend him at that time,” he added.

Pakistan People’s Party’s Secretary General- Jehangir Badr- had recently said that Musharraf could be arrested over many criminal cases against him on his return to the country. (ANI)

Source: Sify News

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