Monday, December 31, 2007 Bhutto Spouse, Divisive Figure, Asserts Himself

Bhutto Spouse, Divisive Figure, Asserts Himself By CARLOTTA GALL While Bilawal Bhutto Zardari brings the much-needed continuity of the family name, it is his father who will be the critical figure over the next several years.

The Future Pakistan Deserves

In his article for The Washington Post (Tuesday, January 1, 2008; Page A11) former Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif says in Benazir Bhutto's assassination he lost a friend and a partner in democracy.

Following is the text of his article:

LAHORE, Pakistan -- There is no law and certainly no order in my country. What happened this past week has shaken every Pakistani. Benazir Bhutto was no ordinary person. She served as prime minister twice and had returned to Pakistan in an effort to restore our country to the path of democracy. With her assassination I have lost a friend and a partner in democracy.
It is too early to blame anybody for her death. One thing, however, is beyond any doubt: The country is paying a very heavy price for the many unpardonable actions of one man -- Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf alone is responsible for the chaos in Pakistan. Over the past eight years he has assiduously worked at demolishing institutions, subverting the constitution, dismantling the judiciary and gagging the media. Pakistan today is a military state in which a former prime minister can be gunned down in broad daylight. One of my own political rallies was fired upon the day Benazir Bhutto was killed.

These are the darkest days in Pakistan's history. And such are the wages of dictatorship. There is widespread disillusionment. At all the election rallies I have addressed, people have asked a simple question: Criminals are punished for breaking laws, so why should those who subvert the constitution not be punished? Those who killed Benazir Bhutto are the forces of darkness and authoritarianism. They are the ones who prefer rifles to reason.

Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and my own Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) have traditionally been political rivals. We fought each other through elections. We won some. We lost some. That is what democracy is all about. Whoever has the majority rules. Bhutto and I both realized while in exile that rivalry among democrats has made the task of manipulation easier for undemocratic forces. We therefore decided not to allow such nefarious games by the establishment.

I fondly remember meeting with Benazir in February 2005. She was kind enough to visit me in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I lived after Musharraf forced me into exile. We realized that we were fighting for the same thing: democracy. She, too, believed in the rule of law and rule of the people. A key point of the Charter of Democracy that we signed in May 2006 was that everyone should respect the mandate of the people and not allow the establishment to play dirty politics and subvert the will of the people. After the Jeddah meeting we regularly consulted each other on issues of national and international importance. On many occasions we tried to synchronize our strategies. We had agreements and disagreements, but we both wanted to pull Pakistan back from the brink of disaster.

And while the PPP may have been our traditional rival, it is a national asset whose leadership has inspired many Pakistanis. Political parties form part of the basis on which the entire edifice of democracy rests. If our country is to move forward, we need an independent judiciary, a sovereign Parliament and strong political parties that are accountable to the people. Without political parties, there will be hopelessness, and authoritarianism will thrive. Dictators fear the power of the people. That is why they pit parties against each other and then try to destroy those parties -- to further their own agenda. This is what has happened in Pakistan in recent years.

So, what is the way out of the depths to which Pakistan has been plunged? First, Musharraf should go immediately. He is the primary and principal source of discord. Second, a broad-based national unity government should be immediately installed to heal the wounds of this bruised nation. Third, the constitution should be restored to what it was in 1973. The judiciary should be restored to its condition before Nov. 3 -- countering the boneheaded steps Musharraf took under the garb of "emergency" rule. All curbs on the media should be removed. Finally, fair and impartial elections should be held in a friendly and peaceful environment under such a national government so that the people are able to choose their representatives for a Parliament and government that can be trusted to rebuild the country rather than serve the agenda of a dictator.

These are the only steps that will give the country a semblance of stability. If Musharraf rules as he has for the past eight years, then we are doing nothing but waiting for another doomsday.
The world must realize that Musharraf's policies have neither limited nor curbed terrorism. In fact, terrorism is stronger than ever, with far more sinister aspects, and as long as Musharraf remains, there remains the threat of more terror. The people of Pakistan should not be antagonized any further for the sake of one man. It is time for the international community to join hands in support of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. The answer to my country's problems is a democratic process that promotes justice, peace, harmony and tolerance and hence can play an effective role in promoting moderation. With dictatorship, there is no future.

The writer is head of the Pakistan Muslim League and was twice elected prime minister of Pakistan.

Yahoo! News Story - US provided Bhutto with security intel - Yahoo! News

US provided Bhutto with security intel - Yahoo! News

Sunday, December 30, 2007

U.S. Strives to Keep Footing In Tangled Pakistan Situation

By Robin Wright and Glenn Kessler
For the Bush administration, there is no Plan B for Pakistan. (The Washington Post)

Yahoo! News Story - U.S. urges Pakistan move ahead with free election - Yahoo! News

U.S. urges Pakistan move ahead with free election - Yahoo! News

Saturday, December 29, 2007

US presidential candidate backtracks on illegal Pakistanis’ claim

WASHINGTON: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee today backtracked from his yesterday’s claim about 660 illegally Pakistanis crossing into the US border last year.

He was addressing a press conference in Iowa State where the first electoral battle will take place among the presidential candidates on January 3 for the nomination of their respective parties.

Yesterday, in his reaction to Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Huckabee surprisingly linked it to the immigration issue in the US saying that this incident reminds us to secure our border and told the audience that last year 660 illegal Pakistanis tried to cross into our border.

When a reporter asked him how did he get that figure, he said he received a briefing earlier and probably that figure came from CIA or the immigration department and promised to check back to confirm the source.

However, today when he was asked again about his claim, he said the figure actually covered a period of four years instead of one year and originated from an article he had read in the Denver Post. He admitted that it was his mistake.

According to the recent polls, Mike Huckabee is leading all other Republican candidates in the race in Iowa and South Carolina.
(Rana Fawad)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir's murder is linked to illegal immigration in US?

WASHINGTON: As the US Presidential candidates with experience in foreign policy are trying to gain political mileage in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, other candidates with less or no knowledge of foreign affairs do not want to lag behind.

One Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, whose resume lacks foreign policy credentials, today linked Benazir's death to the immigration issue in the US during his campaign in Iowa - the first state to decide the fate of the candidates on both sides of the political divide in less than a week. According to different polls, immigration remains an important issue for the voters in Iowa.

Mike Hcakabee stressed that since 660 Pakistanis crossed illegally into the US border last year, there was a need to erect the fence along the US border. When a reporter asked how he came up with this figure of 660 illegal Pakistanis, he replied that he received a briefing earlier in the morning and this figure either came from the CIA or immigration department. However, he promised the reporter to check back and get the exact source later.

Yesterday, in his attempt to compete with other candidates in their reaction to Benazir Bhutto's murder, Mike Huckabee was unaware that emergency had already been lifted in Pakistan two weeks ago.
(Rana Fawad)

Stephen Cohen readjusts his prediction about Pakistan

"...Pakistan will face a fundamental crisis in five or six years, Benazir Bhutto's assassination may bring that about sooner than later."
Stephen Cohen is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, US.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto's interview with the Parade magazine for it's Jan 6, 2008 issue

In late November, PARADE sent Contributing Editor Gail Sheehy to Pakistan. Sheehy traveled with former prime minister Benazir Bhutto as she campaigned through her home provinces. Sheehy had two long interviews with her—the first in Bhutto’s home in Islamabad, a second at her residence outside Karachi. Bhutto told Sheehy that she had long been a target of terrorists. She knew she was also now a target of the Musharraf government. Today’s suicide bombing mirrors the earlier attempt on her life that Bhutto described to Sheehy.
The interview with Bhutto will be the cover story of PARADE on January 6, 2008. Click here for Benazir Bhutto's Interview

Pakistan: Bhutto Assassination a Tragedy: HRW

Crucial to Uphold Fundamental Rights to Prevent Turmoil

NEW YORK: The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event with serious implications for Pakistan’s transition to democracy, Human Rights Watch said today.

“Political violence of this nature has claimed far too many innocent lives in Pakistan and it must stop,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Benazir Bhutto was a democrat who believed in the supremacy of constitutional rule and throughout her career, sought power through the ballot box. Today, she died campaigning for votes and calling for a free election.”

Human Rights Watch called upon the Pakistani government to undertake an independent and transparent investigation into Bhutto’s assassination and fully cooperate with such an investigation.

“Given Bhutto’s public accusations of government threats against her and the absence of judicial independence in Pakistan, an independent and transparent investigation is absolutely essential,” said Hasan.

The government and security forces should ensure that fundamental rights are not violated and people are allowed to peacefully express their grief and anger.

“To prevent Pakistan’s descent into further political chaos at this delicate time, it is essential that both the government and Bhutto’s supporters follow the rule of law and remain peaceful,” said Hasan.

Benazir was a target just a day before her assassination?

WASHINGTON: A day before Benazir was assassinated, the Police in Peshawar had arrested a suspect carrying explosive before Benazir Bhutto addressed a political rally there.

According to the reports that appeared on Wednesday in the Pakistani media, the young suspect was trying to enter the gate of the political rally.

Pakistan lost a liberal leader: Mahmud Durrani

By Rana Fawad

WASHNGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Mahmud Ali Durrani has condemned the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and termed it a great loss for her family, her party (Pakistan Peoples Party) and the country.

Responding to questions posed by different US media outlets, Ambassador Durrani said Pakistan lost a liberal leader. He added that the terrorists who do not want a liberal and democratic government in Pakistan were responsible for this act.

Ambassador Durrani disagreed with some of the US analysts that the place of assassination in Rawalpindi was part of the military headquarters. Durrani said that the commentators did not know much about the location of the Liaqat Bagh (where Benazir was assassinated after addressing an election rally). He explained that it was a huge civilian area without a single soldier’s presence there.

As for the safety of the country’s nuclear weapons, the Ambassador rejected those views and said that the so called security specialists should know that the Pakistan Army was an organized force and that the nuclear assets were in the safe hands.

To a question, he commented that Pakistan had seen many crises in the past and hoped the people would pull through this one too. He said President Musharraf was committed to bringing democracy to Pakistan and, therefore, the opposition and the government should work together to move forward.

He also rejected the notion that there would be a political vacuum after BB’s death and said that no doubt she was a very important leader but she was not the only political leader.

He emphasized that in this moment of crisis all Pakistanis need to join hands to fight the menace of terrorism. He said in his view it was probably the work of Al Qaeda and Taliban.

US presidential candidates react to Benazir’s assassination

By Rana Fawad

WASHINGTON: Presidential candidates in the US have also reacted to the assassination of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and termed it a horrific act.

In a press release issued today, Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani said it was a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan and demanded the murderers must be brought to justice. He also commented, “Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere — whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi — is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists’ War on Us.”

Another Republican front runner Mike Huckabee said it “is devastating news for the people of Pakistan, and my prayers go out to them as we follow developments regarding this dire situation.”

He added, “On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government.”

Republican Senator John McCain offered his condolences to the family and supporters of Benazir Bhutto. The Senator said, "The death of Benazir Bhutto underscores yet again the grave dangers we face in the world today and particularly in countries like Pakistan, where the forces of moderation are arrayed in a fierce battle against those who embrace violent Islamic extremism.”

Referring to his own visits to Pakistan, John McCain said the politicians faced many challenges in that country and “There are, in Pakistan, brave individuals who seek to lead their country away from extremism and instability and into the light of a better day. America, I believe, must do all we can to support them.”

Another Republican candidate Mitt Romney condemned the assassination and said moderate forces needed to be supported.

He offered condolences “to the family of Benazir Bhutto, and to all the people of Pakistan who are fighting against extremist forces that would commit such heinous acts as the whole world has witnessed today.”

Democratic front runner Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton reacted by saying she was profoundly saddened and outraged by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

She said Benazir was a leader of tremendous political and personal courage and added “She returned to Pakistan to fight for democracy despite threats and previous attempts on her life and now she has made the ultimate sacrifice. Her death is a tragedy for her country and a terrible reminder of the work that remains to bring peace, stability, and hope to regions of the globe too often paralyzed by fear, hatred, and violence.”

Hillary hoped Beanzir’s “legacy will be a brighter, more hopeful future for the people she loved and the country she served. My family and I extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the victims and their families and to the people of Pakistan.”

In a brief statement issued by Barak Obama’s campaign, he said, “I am shocked and saddened by the death of Benazir Bhutto in this terrorist atrocity. She was a respected and resilient advocate for the democratic aspirations of the Pakistani people.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pakistani, Afghan leaders vow cooperation
By Kamran Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan vowed on Wednesday to boost intelligence cooperation to meet the menace of terrorism that was destroying both countries, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said. (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 Doubts Engulf an American Aid Plan for Pakistan

Doubts Engulf an American Aid Plan for Pakistan By JANE PERLEZ The ambitious $750 million plan is imperiled by questions about whether the money could fall into the wrong hands.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Musharraf Made A Mockery Of Pakistan: Sharif

SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf made the country an international laughing stock by purging the judiciary after he imposed emergency rule in November, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday. (The New York Times)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pakistani militants pose visible threat

LAHORE, Pakistan -- While the war against Islamic militancy has focused on shadowy underground organizations such as al-Qaida, counter-terrorism officials say there is a growing worldwide threat from an extremist group operating in plain sight in Pakistan.

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,4339318.story Pakistan's Tyranny Continues

Op-Ed Contributor: Pakistan's Tyranny Continues By AITZAZ AHSAN How long can the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his colleagues be kept in confinement? Billions in Aid to Pakistan Was Wasted, Officials Assert

Billions in Aid to Pakistan Was Wasted, Officials Assert By DAVID ROHDE, CARLOTTA GALL, ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER The money the U.S. spent to bolster the Pakistani military effort against militants has been diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India, not Al Qaeda or the Taliban, officials said.

Saturday, December 22, 2007 Weakening Pakistan

Editorial: Weakening Pakistan Pakistanis need to turn out in force on Election Day to ensure that everybody — not just Pervez Musharraf — can have a say in Pakistan’s future.

Pakistan's Islamic Parties Struggle for Support

By Griff WittePESHAWAR, Pakistan -- In 2002, Ibrar Hussein voted for an Islamic takeover. (The Washington Post)

Failure blooms in Afghanistan

"THE BUSH administration's decision to conduct a review of security, governance, and economic development in Afghanistan reflects an overdue recognition that, six years after the overthrow of the Taliban, the country remains dangerously unstable. With Taliban attacks on the rise and the opium poppy crop increasing, Afghanistan is on the way to becoming a failed state, a narco-state or both." (The Boston Globe)

Friday, December 21, 2007 Pakistan: Lawyers' Leader Rearrested

World Briefing Asia: Pakistan: Lawyers' Leader Rearrested By DAVID ROHDE Pakistani officials rearrested Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of Pakistan’s lawyers movement, just 18 hours after granting him a three-day release from detention as a good-will gesture for the Id al-Adha holiday.

Baltimore Sun: Bhutto facing tough road in Pakistan vote

But the former prime minister seems confident of victory Jan. 8
Associated Press
December 21 2007

MIRPURKHAS, Pakistan -- Bringing her election campaign to her home province, Benazir Bhutto vowed that neither bullets nor bombs could keep her away from the Pakistani people.

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,3421810.story

The Washington Post: Ignoring Reality in Pakistan

Regarding the Dec. 17 op-ed, "Questions for Musharraf and Bush," written by John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan:

Regarding the Dec. 17 op-ed, "Questions for Musharraf and Bush," written by John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan:
The column did not reflect what is really happening in Pakistan. Contrary to what has been asserted, the people of Pakistan are with the government. This is evident from the fact that the masses did not pay any heed to the calls by vested interests to agitate and destabilize the country. The country is fully back on track. The president has taken off his military uniform and lifted the state of emergency, as promised.

Elections will be held as scheduled, on Jan. 8, in a totally free, fair and transparent manner.
All political parties, including those of the two former prime ministers, are taking part in the elections. A large number of independent observers, including representatives of the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, are in Pakistan, and more are on their way.

What we expect from our friends at the present juncture is that they express their support for the people of Pakistan as a whole and for their government as the country is heading toward elections, rather than aligning themselves with one or another individual or faction.

Press Attache, Embassy of Pakistan

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bush Team Confident on Pakistan Funds

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration said Thursday it is confident new restrictions set by lawmakers on $50 million in military aid to Pakistan will not prevent it from providing the money...(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Picture of Secret Detentions Emerges in Pakistan

Picture of Secret Detentions Emerges in Pakistan By CARLOTTA GALL Nearly 100 suspected terrorists have been released in an apparent effort to avoid acknowledging secret detentions.

The Washington Post: For Iowa's GOP Voters, Immigration Is Top Issue

Surging Huckabee Takes Lead in Iowa Over Romney
By Jon Cohen and Chris Cillizza
The race for Iowa's Republican caucuses has narrowed to a two-person battle between former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, with Huckabee now perched atop the field, propelled by a big jump in support among religious women.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three Eids in USA

WASHINGTON: Muslims in the United States will observe three Eids this year. Most of the Arab-American community will celebrate Eid ul Adha tomorrow (Wednesday) while majority of the Pakistani-American community will mark this holy day on Thursday.

Yet another Eid will be observed on Friday (December 21) as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has already announced, "The moon was not sighted anywhere in North America on Monday December 10, 2007 as such Wednesday December 12, 2007 is the first day of Dhul-Hijjah 1428 AH and Eid-ul Adha will be on Friday December 21, 2007."
(Rana Fawad) Pakistan Rejects Sharif's Election Bid Appeal

Pakistan Rejects Sharifs Election Bid Appeal By REUTERS ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Election Commission has upheld an election ban on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his lawyer said on Tuesday, barring a main rival of President Pervez Musharraf from the January polls.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two Months in Pakistan

By Lally Weymouth
When Benazir Bhutto returned from exile in October, she was disturbed by the growing strength of the Taliban and Islamic extremists inside Pakistan. Last week she sat down with Newsweek-The Post's Lally Weymouth in Islamabad. Excerpts: (The Washington Post)

Sunday, December 16, 2007 WHO to Investigate Pakistan Bird Flu

WHO to Investigate Pakistan Bird Flu By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- International health experts have been dispatched to Pakistan to help investigate the cause of South Asia's first outbreak of bird flu in people and determine if the virus could have been transmitted through human contact, officials said Sunday.

Saturday, December 15, 2007 On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers' Path

The Saturday Profile: On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers' Path By JANE PERLEZ Mysterious, influential and scorned by protesters, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, 84, fixes things when military rulers take over in Pakistan.

Friday, December 14, 2007

There are no restrictions on the press: Musharraf

WASHINGTON: President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has said that media in Pakistan are not under any restrictions. This he stated during an interview conducted by the Newsweek-Washington Post's Lally Weymouth.

To another question, he replied, "We issued a code of conduct and asked them to sign it. It's as good as you have in your own country. All the channels except one accepted it, and all except one are open. The print media were not closed at all."

However, when the interviewer reminded him that there is no code of conduct for the media in the US, the president backed out of his earlier position and said, "No, the code of conduct is there in most countries of the world. Why should we compare the United States to Pakistan?"

To find out his responses to other questions, please click President Musharraf's Interview
(Rana Fawad)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

PPP to get 30 percent votes, PML-N 25 and PML-Q 23: IRI survey

By Rana Fawad

WASHINGTON: Pakistan Peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto would secure 30 percent support, Sharif's party would get 25 percent and the pro-Musharraf (Pakistan Muslim League-Q) party would win 23 percent in the coming elections.

This was the result of a survey released on Thursday by a Washington-based nonprofit organization International Republican Institute (IRI). The poll was conducted November 19-28 this year.

The survey also revealed that more than 70 percent of those questioned for the survey disapproved Pervez Musharraf’s election as President while the two-thirds wanted him to resign.

According to the IRI news release issued today, “The fieldwork for this poll was conducted in the two weeks leading-up to President Pervez Musharraf’s resigning as Army Chief of Staff, being sworn in as a civilian president and announcing a date that the state of emergency would be lifted. The effect of these events is therefore not reflected in this poll.”

It adds that the randomly selected sample consists of 3,520 adult men and women from 223 rural and 127 urban locations in 51 districts in all four provinces of Pakistan. “The margin of error for the national sample will not exceed +1.69 percent in 19 out of 20 cases.”

Since 2002, the IRI has conducted surveys in Pakistan including five national polls over the past 12 months.

“A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, good governance, and the rule of law.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rigged Vote Is Widely Expected in Pakistan

By Griff Witte
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- With less than a month to go before parliamentary elections in Pakistan, independent experts say that there is little chance the polls will be either free or fair -- and that the result could be renewed tumult across the country. (The Washington Post) Pakistan's Government Threatens Media

Pakistans Government Threatens Media By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- The government's intolerance of public dissent isn't easing ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, with TV executives warned they could go to jail and pay fines if they give the president's critics a live forum.

Bhutto sees Pakistan coalition, without Musharraf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto expects her Pakistan People's Party to pick up additional seats in a January election but will have to enter into a coalition to create a ruling majority, The Washington Times reported on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bhutto won't join with Islamic party

For detail please click The Washington Times Pakistan's News Media No Longer Silent, but Musharraf Has Muted His Critics

Pakistan's News Media No Longer Silent, but Musharraf Has Muted His Critics By SALMAN MASOOD and DAVID ROHDE Western and Pakistani observers say President Pervez Musharraf has reversed one of his greatest achievements: fostering a vibrant independent news media.

Bhutto happy two main Pakistan parties are in vote

By Augustine Anthony
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The participation of Pakistan's two main opposition parties in a January election will either force the government to make it fair or try to rig it so much it will be obvious, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto said. (The Washington Post)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pro-Musharraf party puts brave face on poll fight

By Augustine Anthony
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's dominant party published its election manifesto on Monday a day after its rival, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said his party would take part in the polls raising the prospect of a hung parliament. (The Washington Post)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

In Pakistan, judges still confined

Associated Press

December 9 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A month after emergency rule was imposed, the gate to deposed Supreme Court Judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday's house remains locked. Five officers stand sentry outside, allowing him to leave only on Fridays to pray at a mosque under police escort. (Baltimore Sun)

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,5912190.story Sharif to Participate in Elections in Pakistan

INTERNATIONAL / ASIA PACIFIC December 9, 2007 Sharif to Participate in Elections in Pakistan By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The move by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party may encourage other opposition groups to take part.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sehba Musharraf's gift to Laura Bush?

WASHINGTON: What gift Mrs Sehba Musharraf of Pakistan could give to First Lady Laura Bush? It was a "three-piece set including: pierced earrings with oval cut sapphire encircled by round cubic zirconium and set in gold" with a matching ring and pendant necklace.

According to a report published by the Baltimore Sun on Saturday, the State Department issued a list of gifts presented in 2006 to President Bush, his administration officials, and other employees.

As for President Musharraf, he gave Persian rugs to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Chief of Staff Andy Card, First Lady Chief of Staff Anita McBride and Counselor Dan Bartlett.
(Rana Fawad) Guns, Not Golf, as Pakistani Army Battles Militants

INTERNATIONAL December 8, 2007 Guns, Not Golf, as Pakistani Army Battles Militants By REUTERS KABAL, Pakistan (Reuters) - No tourists are hitting balls down the fairways of the once-peaceful Kabal golf course in Pakistan's Swat valley these days.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pakistanis Face Critics

WASHINGTON -- Nasim Ashraf faced a tough diplomatic mission on his visit to the United States: persuade lawmakers and the public to support Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend his country's constitution and arrest prominent lawyers and judges. (The Washington Post) Complete Story

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bush's Pakistan Policy Criticized

Associated Press Writer

December 6 2007, 5:56 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- A senior Bush administration official said Thursday that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's suspension of the constitution and arrests of opponents were "bumps in the road," comments that drew criticism from Democrats. (Baltimore Sun)

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,3623434.story

Visit at

Aaj TV website restored

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's private TV channel Aaj restores its website after it was hacked on Thursday morning.

Aaj TV website hacked

WASHINGTON: The website of Pakistan's private TV channel Aaj has been hacked. A message posted by the site's administrator on Thursday says efforts are being made to restore the site.

Many viewers who watch Aaj TV online in the Washington area are unable to access the site at this hour (PST 1:51 pm).

Aaj is one of those TV channels that has been allowed to go on air conditionally during the emergency rule after it signed an agreement with the government to abide by the official policy. However, its talk shows 'Live With Talat' and 'Bolta Paakistan' have been axed.
(Rana Fawad)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pakistan sees red over Code Pink activists' antics

The Washington Times Sharif, Bhutto Near Pakistan Poll Terms

INTERNATIONAL December 5, 2007 Sharif, Bhutto Near Pakistan Poll Terms By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan's opposition parties neared agreement Wednesday on a list of demands of President Pervez Musharraf in return for calling off a boycott that could spoil the legitimacy of January parliamentary elections, an official said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Headed to where U.S. stakes are scary: Iraq, Pakistan

There's something entirely fitting about the fact that Pakistan and Iraq are, together, dominating the foreign news. They are linked in strange and very somber ways. (Baltimore Sun)

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,6014575.story

Monday, December 3, 2007

Rigging Pakistan's Election?

By Robert D. Novak
Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad could hardly believe what President Bush said to anchor Charles Gibson on ABC's "World News" on Nov. 20. He described Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, as "somebody who believes in democracy" and declared: "I understand how important he is in fight...(The Washington Post) Complete Comlumn

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"A solid foundation but a challenging future" by Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan

I will judge Pakistan's elections a success if they meet two criteria. First, they must take place in a free and safe environment. We cannot allow terrorists to hijack this critical democratic institution through violence. Nor can we allow self-serving politicians to disrupt the consensus required to continue the fight against terror. Second, we must move beyond personalities to debate a vision for Pakistan, writes President Musharraf (for Complete column and comments

Economy figures in Musharraf's unpopularity

By Henry Chu

December 2 2007

MUSTAFABAD, Pakistan -- Mohammed Rafiq has only to look at his dinner table to find reasons to hate President Pervez Musharraf. (Courtesy: Baltimore Sun)

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,363287.story

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The anatomy of protest

By Amjad Bhatti
THE space, participation, intensity and content of the resistance campaign against emergency-cum- martial law imposed by General Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3 have prompted serious questions about the scope and pattern of the popular uprising for political and civil rights in Pakistan. Complete column (Courtesy: Dawn)