Archive for January, 2012

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Lowari Tunnel: Pervez Musharraf’s timeless gift to the people of Chitral

January 13, 2012

Lowari Tunnel: Pervez Musharraf’s timeless gift to the people of Chitral

There were times when the people of Chitral were literally detached from normal life of human beings and were left to suffer the winter vows all on their own. They trekked the snowy Lowari Mountain pass to get to their native villages while life went on as daily routine for the rest of the Pakistanis.

Lowari Tunnel, a program envisioned in 1956 by the Government of Pakistan, finally saw the light of the day when the former president of Pakistan General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf took personal interest in the completion of the project. The 8.75 km long tunnel having an internal diameter of 7.1m was completed in January 2009 using the state-of-the-art technology. The total cost of the project was estimated to be $133-million.

The advantages of the tunnel and the change it has brought in the lives of the winter-stiffened Chitralis can be sought by one of the commentators who lauded Musharraf’s work in his own unique way.

Dr. Khalil, a born Chitrali who now resides in Hamilton, Canada says, “I don’t know Musharaf is good or bad leader, but I remember for sure the time just few years back when, Chitrlies used to get stuck in Peshawar for weeks waiting for Fokker flight. I can remember when we used to fight with each other and with PIA staff every day in and out. I can remember Chitralies selling their waistcoats and Phakools in Peshawar to buy bus tickets to come and return from PIA office. Everyone can remember the days when Masajid where there was a Chitrali imam in Peshawar used to be packed of Chitralies, coming just to spent night there. Imam e Masajid used to open the back door of masjid for Chitrlies after Isha prayer, and asking them to quit masjid before Fajr Azan. Arbab was known to each and every Chitrali. I can remember the days when we used to protest every day in Peshawar and have been beaten up by Peshawar police on reads time and again. How can one forget the time when we used to drag our mothers sisters over snow while passing Lowari. How can I forget the bedbugs of hotels in Dir, how can one forget travel through Kunar and overnight stays in place like Chaqansarai with our sick mothers and sisters. None can forget when we were looted every day in the hands of 10-12 years old tribal kids on Kurar road., How can we forget our helplessness in PIA booking clerk’s desks in Chitral. No one can forget the bodies of our brothers still buried under tons of snow in lawari. Is that easy to forget the days when Gunshalies used to carry us on their backs through lawari ? I can also remember the dead bodies of Chitralies decomposing on beds waiting for flight in Peshawar , and finally buried in Wazir Bagh. I don’t care what Musharaf did with anyone else, but if I as Chitrali neglected his services for Chitral, I will never be forgiven in any court in this world and in the court of life hereafter. Yes, if Musharaf was not allowed to fight election I will defiantly look for new faces in Pakistani politics.”

Former president has now announced that he will be contesting for the National Assembly seat from Chitral following his strong support from the people of the region. He said he was grateful to Shahzada Muhiuddin and his son Shahzada Pervez for inviting him to do so and that he has accepted the invitation. He was talking about his ambitious plan at APML meeting at Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi and also announced his return at the end of the current month of January.

Source: News Pakistan

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Musharraf creates a stir

January 13, 2012

AS Interior Minister Rehman Malik is vowing to arrest Pervez Musharraf as soon as he lands in the country, the former President has categorically stated that he would be returning to Pakistan between January 27th and 30th and would preferably land in Karachi. In his usual style, he addressed a mammoth public gathering at Karachi via video link and made known his plans for return to the country as well as his political ambitions.

In a very well prepared speech and in an articulated manner, the former President touched upon a number of issues with particular focus on what he did during his tenure and what he intends to do if returned to power again. We believe that Musharraf has a reason to be satisfied as he delivered on several accounts during his comparatively long rule. Internally, he was able to control inflation to a great extent, created hundreds of thousands of job opportunities and set high goals for progress and prosperity in different sectors of the economy. And on external front, he raised prestige of the country in the comity of nations and was able to defend its causes including that of Kashmir in an ardent manner. In any case, his dramatic and sudden announcement would create a stir and generate more heat in the political arena. The way he is having meetings abroad and has plans to interact with some high profile personalities including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to seek assurances for his safe return and liberty to do politics clearly indicates that he is going to play an eventful innings in the coming months and years. Yet nothing can be said with certainty in the Pakistani context where things change frequently and that too very suddenly. A lot of adjustments and realignments would obviously take place for the next general elections and success of Musharraf and his nascent party depend on what position they carve out for themselves in the emerging scenario. He has both foes and friends in politics with some wanting to see him behind bars while others admire him for the steps he and former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz took for economic take off. It would, therefore, be interesting to watch which way things go in coming days.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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Musharraf`s earnings from lectures

January 13, 2012

There are some very prominent names on the panel of that society like Clinton, former president of the US, and Dr Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia.

Clinton being the most expensive lecturer of that society charges $250,000 per lecture. Musharraf has been second highest lecturer now with $200,000 per lecture. Musharraf has been busy delivering lectures during the past one and a half years across the world.

He is booked for another six months as far as I know.

We can imagine how much he is earning from one lecture. It is unfortunate that we Pakistanis do not recognise his worth but the world does.

That is why they are paying him so heavily.

He in his last speech to the nation finished with a remark, “Pakistan ka Khuda he Hafiz”. Time has proved it.

HAMMAD KHALID

Karachi

Source:  DAWN

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Musharraf’s day of reckoning nears

January 11, 2012

In his Jalsa on January 8 Pervez Musharraf has announced that he will return to Karachi by the end of the month. It takes great courage to return to the country where people are already calling out for his blood. He himself said that the relative comforts one gets while living abroad are not given up unless the rewards on the other side are greater. Musharraf reiterated that he wants to return to help his people and not for any personal gain. He spoke out clearly against the charges being leveled against him like the Nawab Bugti case and Benazir assassination. It wasn’t only the urban Karachiites who were present at the gathering. Participants came from Sukkur, Khairpur and other interior areas of the country showing their support.

Contesting elections from Chitral shows that he has the confidence in the support of the Northern regions. His support for the province of Hazara is going to further increase his popularity there. Ethnicity is one of the core sensitive issues of our population right now, he noted. The presence of Bengalis, perhaps the most discriminated minority, was specially noted and it was wonderful to see their presence at the rally.

At this point it is not important to note how many people come out to support a particular party but to appreciate the fact that at least people are coming out for their democratic right. The APML rally was also a part of the democratic process.

Masooma Imran,

Karachi, January10.

Source: The Nation

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Musharraf announces he will return to Pakistan late this month

January 11, 2012

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pledged in a speech Sunday to return to his country later this month, despite word from authorities that he will be arrested when he does so.

“I am coming, Pakistan,” Musharraf told thousands of supporters via video link in the southern city of Karachi. “Attempts have been made to scare me, but I am not afraid of anything.”

He pledged to return between January 27 and 30.

When he does, Pakistani officials said, Musharraf will be arrested in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, a special public prosecutor in the assassination case, said a Rawalpindi court has already issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf.

“They are bound to execute the order unless a higher court sets aside the orders,” Ali said, adding that Musharraf is accused of conspiring in the assassination.

Musharraf’s attorney, Chaudry Faisal, said the threat of arrest is politically motivated and has no legal bearing. The warrant is being challenged in court, the attorney said.

He described the claim that Musharraf could be arrested at any time upon return as “absurd.”

The former president said Sunday that he will return even at the risk of his life. Speaking to CNN after addressing the crowd in Karachi, Musharraf said he had declined to provide a specific date because of security concerns. He spoke about the possibility of arrest, but said he expects he will be fine, so long as “the judiciary plays its just role, and there are no interruptions.”

“There is a vacuum in Pakistan of trustworthy leaders, which is being filled by others. To exploit this vacuum, I have to be back now,” Musharraf said.

He described his support as scattered, and said he needs to build it again from the ground up.

“This is a do-or-die moment for me and my party. I need to muster all the support I can,” he said.

Musharraf, who resigned in 2008, is expected to fly into Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates later this month, accompanied by up to 500 supporters, said Jawed Siddiqi, spokesman for the former president’s All Pakistan Muslim League party.

“President Musharraf told me that although the possibility of arrest is there — there is no way of knowing what will happen, and how dangerous the situation is, until one jumps into the situation head first,” he said.

Elections are set to take place in Pakistan next year; Musharraf intends to run.

On Sunday, he told Pakistanis that other politicians have failed leading the country, but “I succeeded 100%.”

“When I took charge of the country, it was surrounded in huge problems,” he said. “… Today, we have to decide whether we need change or we need the same faces.”

Terrorism in Pakistan, he said, “is at its peak. We are alone in the world.”

He said he restored Pakistan’s economic development, increased its global standing and strengthened the armed forces.

Musharraf resigned in 2008 as the country’s ruling coalition began taking steps to impeach him. He was succeeded by Asif Zardari, Bhutto’s widower.

In 2010, the United Nations released a report that said Musharraf’s government had failed to protect Bhutto before her 2007 assassination.

Musharraf has rejected such accusations, saying that Bhutto had police protection and took unnecessary risks.

Bhutto’s assassination turned public opinion strongly against Musharraf in 2008 and led to his resignation and self-exile in London.

In 2010, Musharraf said the timing of his return to Pakistan would depend on the environment there.

“My going back is dependent, certainly, on an environment to be created in Pakistan and also, I would say, with certainty, that whenever the signs of the next election comes up, I will be there in Pakistan,” he said.

Source: CNN

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Musharraf discusses his return with General Kayani

January 9, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Former President General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Monday contacted Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and discussed his potential return to Pakistan, DawnNews reported.

Musharraf informed the army chief about security obligations for a former president and army chief, reliable sources told DawnNews.

Sources also said that Musharraf will meet former US secretary of state Colin Powel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, King Abdullah of Jordan and authorities in UAE before arriving in the country.

Source: DAWN

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