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Friday, November 30, 2007
Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, high rises, internet cafes, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading her genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease, and backwardness.
Source: Gbemisola Olujobi, Pulitzer Fellow, Annenberg School for Communication. Complete article
For complete story, please click on http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20071130/FOREIGN/111300064/1003
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Musharraf begins new five-year term as civilian president
By Sadaqat Jan
The Associated Press
November 29 2007, 11:37 AM EST
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pervez Musharraf embarked on a new five-year term as a civilian president today, promising to lift a state of emergency by Dec. 16 and restore the constitution before January elections, a key demand of his domestic opponents and foreign backers.
The complete article can be viewed at:
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
In a statement isssued on Wednesday, Iqbal Haider mentioned that the fund account is titled as ‘Legal Aid,’ ( in Habib Bank Ltd High Court Branch, Karachi) and will be operated by Justices Wajihuddin Ahmed, Nasir Aslam Zahid and Majida Rizvi together with Barrister Anwar Mansoor Khan and Iqbal Haider.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The protesters' agenda includes demands for restoration of the pre-PCO judiciary, release of all political prisoners, and restoration of democracy in Pakistan.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Ten of thousands of supporters hail the deported leader's return to Pakistan as the politics get more complicated.
By Laura King
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 25 2007, 1:09 PM PST
LAHORE, Pakistan — Tens of thousands of cheering, chanting supporters showered former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with rose petals as he triumphantly returned from exile today, posing a thorny new challenge not only to President Pervez Musharraf but also to the pro-Western opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
The complete article can be viewed at:
Visit latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Huckabee also commented, "If there is an imminent threat to the American people, then I think it is the responsibility of a president of this country to do whatever he has to do to protect you, me and the rest of us standing here." (Rana Fawad)
Friday, November 23, 2007
“As his government battled democracy protesters and an Islamist insurgency, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf startled his countrymen this month by imposing emergency rule and jailing thousands of opponents. The move wasn't a surprise to the U.S.,” the paper reports. (Rana Fawad)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
WASHINGTON: President Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association Ch Aitzaz Ahsan's name has been shortlisted for the Honorary Doctorate (LLD) by the Law Department of the University of Cambridge.
His name was proposed by the Cambridge Law Society. However, it still requires further approvals even outside the law department.
Ch Aitzaz Ahsan is a senior advocate as well as politician affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He successfully represented the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court Iftikhar Ahmad Ch during his first removal by President General Musharraf and was in the forefront of the popular movement.
He was elected President of the SCBA on October 27 by securing 864 out of 1,210 votes cast against his rivals' 175 votes.
Before the emergency rule was imposed and the SC judges were deposed, Aitzaz Ashan was arguing his case against President General Musharraf's eligibility to contest the presidential elections before November 3. He is behind bars ever since.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Washington Post's Op-Ed columnist Michael Gerson thinks, "Immediately after Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule this month, the options were also limited. The administration could have urged the Pakistani military to overthrow Musharraf -- or pressured him to get back on track by restoring civil liberties, taking off his uniform and conducting quick, fair elections. President Bush took the latter course..."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The paper adds the decision seems to be the result of immense pressure from the US, Commonwealth and European countries.
Monday, November 19, 2007
the personal animosity between their leaders and the legacy of hostility
they inherited, writes Teresita C Schaffer in 'Global Forecast: The Top Security Challenges of 2008' published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington) last week
Please click on Perils of Pakistan to read the essay.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
WASHINGTON: According to a news story carried by the New York Times on Sunday (Nov 18), the US army has proposed a plan to seek direct support of Pakistani tribal leaders in an attempt to root out Al Qaeda from the Pak-Afghan border areas.
The paper reports that under the new strategy (if approved) the American army trainers’ presence, which stands at 50 at present, in Pakistan would increase to many dozens while militias willing to fight Al Qaeda would receive direct financial support.
The report mentions that the new proposed strategy is inspired from the success story of Anbar Province in Iraq . However, the paper questions the outcome in Pakistan without a heavy US Army presence.
For the NYT story, please click on ‘U.S. Considers Enlisting Tribes in Pakistan to Fight Al Qaeda’
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The News (Pakistan) Sunday, November 18, 2007
By our correspondentKARACHI: Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis reached a record level of $580.24 million in October 2007 compared to $410.61 million in the same month last year, showing a jump of $169.63 million or 41.31 per cent.
Friday, November 16, 2007
'US turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program'
By Rana Fawad
Another audience member Shuja Nawaz said though he could read only a small portion of the book due to the recent events [emergency declaration in Pakistan], he had doubts about the accuracy of certain points mentioned by the authors. He said the book made rather startling claim about Mushrraf teaming up with Usama bin Laden to sort out Shia in Gilgit. He told the authors that Musharraf at that time was a Brigadier in Khaarian (Punjab) and was not posted anywhere in the northern areas and this could be verified even from Musharraf’s own book.
Referring to the book’s claim regarding Hamid Gul’s statement that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Americans prevented him from becoming the next Chief of Army Staff and that Nawaz Sharif removed him from the army, Shuja said it was totally inaccurate. He added that Hamid Gul was removed by the then army chief and not by Nawaz Sharif and added, “Nawaz Sharif, in fact, supported him for the post of army chief.”
Shuja Nawaz said he was just concerned that picking up a lot of information from the web and including into the book could undermine the authenticity of the contents. He also commented that the authors could be accused of ‘hoovering’ instead of sifting through the contents and, “that’s the danger we all face when we try to collect so much information and try to make sense of it.”
Adrian responded by saying that the book is based on hundreds of face-to-face interviews while Catherine said that they collected material from many different sources.
To a question by Simon Henderson that since the authors quoted Peter Griffin saying he was always paid with a check from the Pakistan Military, did that include the work he was doing on the Libyan project post-2001, Catherine replied Peter told them he was still getting money through a private bank (Habib Bank) and he believed it was official money and not coming out of Khan’s private accounts.
She added that they did not believe everything what Peter said but in an effort to clear his name he gave them a lot of documents to show his role in the Libyan program.
When asked whether the authors paid Peter any money, because according to his own dealings with Peter, he would not give him anything without money, Catherine said they did not pay any money to Peter for getting information.
Responding to a question by an audience member that the American media hardly reported anything when Musharraf released 24 Taliban last weekend when he declared Martial Law, Catherine said that’s something he should ask the American media.
To a question that the authors are reinforcing a dangerous trend who has the right to posses as well as police nuclear weapons and who should not, Adrian replied that broadly speaking there was a system of nonproliferation in place, though there were exceptions to the standards like Israel which perhaps would be the subject of the next book. He said it was enormously difficult question. “I understand the motivation for the Pakistani program. India began the arms race in 1974 and Pakistan was reacting,” he added.
As for the enforcement, he acknowledged that the double standard was involved in the decisions made but it should also be looked into whether those decisions regarding the nonproliferation made the world safer or not.
A freelance journalist Agarwal commented that he was impressed by the descriptive analysis but in terms of Pakistan’s motivation was its 99 per cent focus on India not the West.
Catherine replied she agreed with the viewpoint that India was and would remain its enemy because in 1971 India with the help of the secessionist movement in East Pakistan, India was able to halve Pakistan’s territory in 16 days and the Pakistan Army, of which people like Musharraf were officers, was made to look absolutely enfeebled. She added that many times in his military career Musharraf had wanted to right that wrong in Kashmir.
Dr Poudel of National Advisory Council for South Asian Affairs asked what single advice the authors would like to offer to the people in the US to prevent Pakistan form doing such things in the future. Adrian commented that China was the key which was ignored so far. He said China was an extraordinary ally of Pakistan and had been providing it with political as well as technical assistance almost for nothing and sometimes no payment were made at all. He believed China could play its role as a broker as it did in the N Korean affair to bring N Korea back to talks.
He also observed that there was a willful ignoring of the philosophy of Pakistan's military. He said it was not Mushrraf or the Islamists but the equation was Musharraf and the Islamists. He said there was a pattern of manipulation of the Islamist factions and commented that Musharraf’s allies were those Islamists (MMA) who never had electoral success in the country.
He stressed for a correct analysis to understand what Pakistan needed to feel secure rather than guessing and misunderstanding the strategy.
To a question by David Isenberg (of the British American Security Information Council) that to what extent the elements of Dr Khan’s network or similar networks are still utilizing those illicit and clandestine channels, Catherine replied that there had been suggestions that some of the key figures of the Khan network were still operating but there was no evidence on that and there had been no prosecutions yet.
Co-host of the event, President MEI and former US ambassador to Pakistan Wendy J Chamberlin commented that she would not support cutting off aid to Pakistan as a result of Musharraf’s declaration of emergency because “our relationship is with the Pakistani people.”
She said the suspension of aid would hurt the fields of education, democratic capacity building, health, and some of the useful assistance along the border. She suggested the aid should be cut off to the big ticket items in the defense category and shifted to strengthen the judiciary and the building of community police force.
She said so far the question discussed was whether the world was safer with Pakistan’s nuclear program and the answer was certainly not. She pointed out that another question ‘was Pakistan safe’ should also be asked because Pakistan has nuclear arsenal which it used as a deterrent against India when India moved its nuclear devices close to the border as a result of an attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001.
She told the audience that at that time she was ambassador in Islamabad and Musharraf had made it clear that he would use the nuclear bomb in response.
Adrian commented that Pakistan used the same deterrent in the opposite direction at least on three occasions in 1990 and 1999. He said certain experts believed that there was a state of mind building in Pakistan's military in 1999 to use this deterrent for adventurous play against India.
As for allegation that the US military aid was used for the purchase of F-16s, Larry Robinson clarified that the sale contained no aid component and F-16s were bought entirely by Pakistan’s own funds. He added that the military aid was being used for the counter insurgency mode only.
Analyzing the future of the Pak-US partnership, Dr Marvin Weinbaum commented that there was a growing realization here in Washington that Musharraf was no longer a part of any solution. He said Musharraf had become such a lightening rod himself that any stabilization of our relationship would have to be without him.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
'US turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program'
By Rana Fawad
WASHINGTON: Two British journalists have claimed in their book that the US on many occasions turned a blind eye to let Pakistan build its nuclear program and this approach ultimately led to the attempts to proliferate nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea by A Q Khan network. (Please click on CSIS PRESS CENTER for the audio of Adrian's presentation).
Authors of ‘The Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons,’ Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, were addressing a gathering about this book at an event jointly arranged by the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Middle East Institute last week (Friday, November 9).
Co-director PCR Frederick D Barton moderated the proceedings whereas President CSIS John Hamre, President MEI Wendy J Chamberlin, MEI Scholar Marvin Weinbaum, Co-director PCR Karin von Hippel, Director of CSIS International Program Stephen Flangan, former Ambassador to Pakistan Robert B Oakley, former officials, students, members of Pakistani-American as well as Indian-American community were also present on the occasion.
During Q&A seession, an aduience member Larry Robinson (he was Political Counselor at US Embassy in Islamabad during A Q Khan controversy) urged the audience to keep their minds open instead of going for only one narrative when two narratives are available about relatively few known facts. Referring to the charge made by the authors that Khan was not asked all the questions promised by the government, he said according to his knowledge Khan was questioned intensively and the US got answers to all questions it provided to the Musharraf government.
He mentioned that he (Dr Khan) was interviewed at great length by two generals, Ishan ul Haq (the head of ISI) and Khalid Kidwai (the head of the nuclear program). “They spent many many hours with him and told me and told many others that the man was one of the most accomplished liars they had ever seen in their life and it was impossible to get him to admit to anything unless presented with incontrovertible evidence at which point he completely switched his point of view and became equally convincing in his story,” he said.
As for the authors’ objection that the US was not granted access to A Q Khan for questioning, Larry Robinson said, “I don’t remember the US granting Britain access to Rosenberg. I don’t remember any country that has had a nuclear spy working for somebody else ever granting access to any third country.”
He said in case the US was given access to Khan, “The first thing he was going to do was to say that he had full authorization all the way, whether or not that was true.” He added that the second thing Khan would have talked about was Pakistan’s covert import program of which Khan was a very essential part.
He said that the covert import program exists to this day for the very good reason “that even if they didn’t have nuclear weapons at all, we won’t let Pakistan import even essential safety equipment for their safeguarded nuclear power plants that got to have a covert import program.”
As for Khan’s wealth, he said everybody in Islamabad knew he was rich “but everybody in Islamabad figured that he was getting rich the way everybody else in Islamabad officialdom does – by creaming off a percentage of all the imported stuff.”
Responding to Catherine Scott-Clark’s query why is that no one can clearly answer what exactly Pakistan provided N Korea or how far the negotiations went with Syria or Saudi Arabia or surely there are people in Islamabad who could help to get to the bottom of what actually Iran has, Larry said, “I don’t know how many people really knew how much,” and added by suggesting a parallel of A Q Khan, “I don’t think Hyman Rickover’s [known as the father of Nuclear Navy] brief case was ever examined careflly when he left the Navy nuclear programs.”
“Rickover could have done everything what A Q Khan did. He had exactly the same type of authority. He was in charge of his own authority. He was his own boss because he was the head of the Navy program for the Atomic Energy Commission,” Larry mentioned.
Responding to the authors’ claim that General Zia had commissioned the then ISI chief Hamid Gul and Vice Chief of Army General Aslam Beg to look into the army’s direction beyond Afghtan-Soviet war, Robert Oakley (former US Ambassador to Pakistan) made a factual comment and said, “Hamid Gul became head of ISI only after Zia died. At that point his influence and his wacky ideas began to grow.” He said up until that time Zia and General Rehman [Akhtar Abdur Rehman] had kept the nuclear program under control.
He also said that book seemed to assume the US intelligence was omniscient and infallible, "I think we've seen time and time again not just in Iraq that this is wrong."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
WASHINGTON: The Human Right Watch has urged the Pakistani government to withdraw amendments to the Army Act “which give wide-ranging powers to the military, including the power to arrest, detain and try any civilian.”
According to a press release issued on Wednesday, “Under the amendment to the 1952 Army Act, the military can now try civilians for a wide range of offenses previously under the purview of the country’s judiciary. These include offenses punishable under: the Explosive Substances Act, 1908; Prejudicial conduct under the Security of Pakistan Act, 1952; the Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965; the Prevention of Anti-National Activities Act, 1974; the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997; and several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. For example, civilians can be tried in military courts for acts of treason, sedition and less specific offenses such as “giving statements conducive to public mischief.”
Moreover, trials of civilians conducted by special military courts under the amended law will not be public, investigations will be conducted by military officers, and rules of evidence and procedures laid out for constitutional trials will not apply.
The amendment will take effect retrospectively from January 2003, in effect sanctioning impunity of the army for detaining and “disappearing” people.
Pakistan police charge Imran Khan: BBC
Pakistani police charge Imran Khan under anti-terrorism laws after his first appearance under the emergency.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7095596.stm >
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
In Interview, Musharraf Defends Rule by Decree
November 14, 2007 In Interview, Musharraf Defends Rule by Decree By CARLOTTA GALL, DAVID ROHDE and JANE PERLEZ
“The emergency is to ensure elections go in an undisturbed manner,” Gen. Pervez Musharraf said today in an interview with The New York Times.
Viewpoint: Media freedom dented
A Spanish court has chipped away at the fragile pillar of media freedom in Europe, writes William Horsley of BBC
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/europe/7092413.stm >
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
WASHINGTON: Members of the Pakistani-American community opposed to the imposition of emergency and suspension of the Constitution by President General Pervez Musharraf will stage a protest outside the White House on November 9 (Friday) afternoon.
Another such event will take place outside the Pakistani embassy here in the US capital on November 11 (Sunday) afternoon. This protest is being organized by the Pakistani students and civil rights activists.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The HRW has advocated that the aid should remain suspended until the Pakistani government returns to constitutional rule, reinstates dismissed judges and respects the decisions of the courts, releases all those arbitrarily detained, and restores full media freedoms. The letter adds President Bush should impose a travel ban on senior Pakistani military and government officials until the above steps are taken.
Director of the HRW Asia chapter, Brad Adams, said, “Unless President Musharraf reverses course now, the elections he has announced for February 2008 will not be free or fair.”
To view the Human Rights Watch letter to President Bush, please visit:
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
By Rana Fawad
WASHINGTON: Only Pakistani lawyers are protesting against the emergency declaration because they have their own axe to grind otherwise the people and political parties do not support them and are interested in the country’s security which is the main cause of this declaration.
This was stated by a senior member of President General Musharraf’s legal team and Supreme Court lawyer, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, while replying to questions at the Middle East Institute’s event ‘Political and Constitutional Developments in Pakistan’ this morning in the MEI’s Boardman Room.
Former US ambassador to Pakistan and President MEI, Wendy J. Chamberlin, Vice President MEI, David L. Mack, MEI staff, members of the US and Pakistani media, students, and human rights activists were also present on the occasion.
Responding to a question, Ahmed Raza Kasuri said the lawyers were protesting as stakeholders of the emergency decision because they were receiving relief lavishly under the judicial activism as the courts released many terrorists. He added that the judicial activism without judicial restraint was not good for the country. He claimed that no political party is protesting the emergency declaration.
Replying to another query, he denied the allegation that the judges were being detained and questioned how come they were talking to the international media if there were strict restrictions on them. To a question about the arrests of the civil society members, Kasuri commented that they were not under arrest but they were being held under protective custody.
Kasuri argued for the emergency declaration and said that special circumstances demanded special steps. Referring to the US situation in the wake of 9/11 tragedy, he commented that if the US democratic set up with a history of 220 years behind it could give wide-ranging powers to the executive branch, democracy in Pakistan is still in the process of getting stronger.
Explicating his view on judicial activism in Pakistan, the senior advocate opined that all three branches of the government should play their role within the prescribed bounds of the Constitution and refrain from stepping out of their limits. When he was asked, does this imply Prevez Musharraf stepped out of his limits and violated his oath as Chief of Army Staff on October 12 1999 when he removed an elected government, he replied that a military coup was never a positive development but those were extraordinary circumstances because of malpractices and height of corruption in the country.
He also commented that Pakistan was a unique democracy where elected rulers behave like dictators and military dictators act like democratic leaders. Referring to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Libyan leader Qaddafi, Kasuri argued that unlike those dictatorships Pakistan was a democratic country where military rules had not lasted more than 10 years.
Responding to a question about the status of elections in Pakistan, he replied that the country was facing a growing threat of terrorism and terrorists freely move across Pak-Afghan border. He added that human missiles [suicide bombers] had spread to every nook and corner of the country, therefore, the situation needed to be stabilized first.
Arguing for the emergency declaration, Kasuri dispelled the notion that it was a preemptive ‘strike’ by President General Pervez Musharraf against the judiciary. He said Musharraf’s legal position is secure as envisaged in the 17th Amendment of the Constitution and had no such problem. He added that the country’s security was the only reason Musharraf took this decision and added that extremism and terrorism were posing serious challenges to the national security.
When asked did he have any remorse for his support to two military rulers (General Zia and General Musharraf), Kasuri said he came from a notable family not from streets and always preferred the country’s best interest.
He told the audience that his family’s contribution to Pakistan’s democracy was an established fact and added that his role in framing the country’s constitution was similar to that of Thomas Jefferson’s role in the US Constitution making.
Kasuri said he was the only member who went to Dhaka to attend the assembly’s session in 1971 despite Zulfiqar Bhutto’s (the then leader of the Pakistan People’s Party) warning that he would not tolerate it.
Recalling his 1971 experience, he commented that elections could also turn out to be very divisive and said a part of Pakistan was truncated from it due to those elections.
Responding to a question about General Musharraf’s two offices, he said he would quit as army chief as soon as he takes oath as president as a result of the recent presidential elections in which he secured 57 per cent vote of the electoral college comprising all four provincial assemblies, National Assembly and Senate.
Earlier, Vice President MEI, David L. Mack introduced Ahmed Raza Kasuri to the audience and explained that the purpose of such events is to hear different views from various people. He clarified that Benazir Bhutto’s event at the MEI should not give an impression that this organization was taking sides and added that in the past a variety of other Pakistani leaders including Qazi Hussein Ahmed were also invited to express their views.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Pakistan's fired chief justice calls for uprising
By Laura King
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 6 2007, 8:24 AM PST
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The fired chief justice of Pakistan issued a ringing call to compatriots today to resist the government's 4-day-old declaration of emergency rule.
The complete article can be viewed at:
Monday, November 5, 2007
On Monday, President Bush urged General Musharraf to hold elections and give up his army post, though he gave little indication of any real change in American policy, which has bankrolled Pakistan’s military with $10 billion in aid since 2001 (The New York Times)
News Analysis: A Detour From a Battle Against Terror By DAVID ROHDE While Gen. Pervez Musharraf justified his emergency rule decree as helping him combat terrorism, it could end up weakening his ability and generating instability.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Pakistan Moves Against Opposition
By Griff Witte
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 4 -- Pakistan's government on Sunday executed a nationwide crackdown on the political opposition, the news media and the courts, one day after President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and suspended the constitution.
As Crisis Deepens, White House Endures Diminished Power to Influence Events
By Glenn Kessler
In August, a 2 a.m. phone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped pull Gen. Pervez Musharraf from the brink of declaring a state of emergency in Pakistan. Two days ago, Rice made a similar plea. This time, the Pakistani president was not swayed. (The Washington Post)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Emergency declared by President General Musharraf: NYT reports the White House response INTERNATIONAL / ASIA PACIFIC November 4, 2007 News Analysis: Officials See Few Options for U.S. By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and HELENE COOPER The White House is said to be in wait-and-see mode.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
According to the BetaNews, "The Classmate PC is capable of running either the Windows or Linux operating systems. It includes a 900MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, 1GB of NAND flash storage, a touchpad, and optional digital pen for taking notes" while each device costs about $200.