Tag Archive | "Pak-US relations"

US Congress puts new restrictions on Pak military aid

Pkonweb Monitor

The United States Senate and the House of Representatives (jointly called the US Congress) have quietly approved a bill that seeks tough new restrictions on military aid to Pakistan. The bill comes up for final approval in a joint session later this week. The bill has already been passed in each of the legislative houses.
It now needs joint session (called chambers) approval before it is sent to President Obama for signing as law.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Senator Bob Corker jointly crafted the new restrictions.

‘The Senate approved the bill on July 24 while the House of Representatives passed it earlier this month,’ an aide for Senator Corker told Dawn Group’s Washington-based Correspondent Anwar Iqbal.

The Menendez-Corker legislative language would mandate a certification by the US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, before Pakistan is reimbursed with Coalition Support Funds, that the payment is both in the national security interests of the US, and will not affect the balance of power in the region.

‘To this point, almost eight years and more than seven billion in American taxpayer dollars for Pakistan’s military have not prevented the Taliban and Al Qaeda from regrouping along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,’ said Senator Menendez.

‘The fight against these extremists is crucial for our own security, which is why we have to certify that our support is in fact doing what we intend it to do and is not being used for other purposes.’

Mr Menendez insisted that this was an issue of national security and of responsibility with taxpayer dollars and that’s why he was seeking to further tighten the restrictions on Pakistan.

Senator Corker said that the US appreciated the important role Pakistan had played in America’s fight to eliminate the terrorist safe havens within their borders, ‘we also owe it to our service members and the American taxpayer to ensure that the funds provided to Pakistan out of the Coalition Support Funds are in fact being directed towards those efforts and not misdirected’.

The previous government led by Gen (R) Musharraf had taken the stand that all the monies received under Coalition Support Funds over his eight years period were actually ‘reimbursements’ for services rendered to the US and its allies and therefore not subject to any oversight.

The fresh limits proposed by US legislatures include efforts to track where US military hardware sent to Pakistan ends up, as well as a warning that US aid to Pakistan must not upset ‘the balance of power in the region’ —a reference to tensions with India.

If, as expected, the Senate approves the legislation, it will go to President Barack Obama to sign into law who earlier this month signed the Kerry-Lugar bill into a law.

Although the Kerry-Lugar bill tripled US economic assistance to Pakistan, it also placed some restrictions on the military aid and conditionalities on non-military aid to Pakistan and its government.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

On whose side is US anyway?

PKonweb Monitor

The US-led Nato forces vacated more than half a dozen key security checkposts on the Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border just ahead of the major Pakistan Army ground offensive (code named: Rahe Nijaat) against Taliban-led militants in the volatile tribal area of South Waziristan, The News correspondent Qudssia Akhlaque reported today.

Citing unnamed sources, the report said it is feared that the American decision will facilitate Afghan Taliban in crossing over to Pakistan and support militants in striking back at the Pakistani security forces in the troubled tribal area.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General David Petraeus arrived in Islamabad Sunday and is expected to meet the military high command and discuss the military operation in South Waziristan. Observers believe this serious matter may well be taken up between the two allies’ military chiefs.

Despite several attempts on Sunday the newspaper said it was unable to get an official version from the Pakistan Army Spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas on this alarming development. However, when the US Embassy Spokesman Richard Snelsire was contacted by its correspondent and his attention was drawn to the question of vacated checkposts he remained non-committal. When a confirmation was sought and he was asked what had prompted this move, Snelsire said he had no clue about it. “I do not have information on that, and that is outside our purview,” he noted, adding that he had not seen any reporting on that.

Sources close to the NWFP government and military strategists involved in the planning of South Waziristan operation told the paper over the weekend that the Americans vacated eight security checkposts on the Afghan side of the border just five days before the Army operation. Four of these close to South Waziristan including one each at Zambali and at Nurkha, and four in the north in the area of Nuristan where American forces recently came under violent attacks by the militants.

Latest reports indicate that the Americans have also removed some posts close to North Waziristan, which could encourage even more Afghan Taliban fighters to cross over to the Pakistan side. This has raised many eyebrows in government and military circles with points being made about “conflicting interests” and dubious American designs, the paper commented.

Some observers see it as a tactical move by the US to ward off pressure from its own forces in Afghanistan that have been under severe attacks by the Afghan Taliban. Hence they want to provide them unhindered passage to Pakistan side, as it would help shift the main theatre of war from Afghanistan to inside Pakistan. Americans themselves have been saying that 70 per cent of area in Afghanistan is out of their control.

The NWFP government, civilian and military officials in the provincial capital have been astonished by this American move and more so intrigued by its timing.

Alarmed and concerned about its likely adverse affect on the military operation in South Waziristan where the Pakistani troops reportedly comprising 30,000 soldiers are expected to face fierce resistance from the heavily armed Taliban-led militants, the NWFP government recently alerted the relevant authorities in Islamabad about it.

Pakistan has now taken up this matter with the Americans and conveyed its serious concern about vacating the checkposts at this crucial juncture. Notably the security checkposts on the Afghan side of the border are already almost a third of what Pakistan has on its side.

Experts believe the American move of vacating security checkposts on the Afghan side close to Pakistan’s border could undermine the military action by Pakistan Army. While on one hand it could offer an easy escape route to some militants, it is believed that this would facilitate movement of Afghan Taliban into Pakistan side to join hands with the al-Qaeda-backed local Taliban and other locals as well as foreign militant groups against the military action there.

Whatever the outcome, observers believe that operation in the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan became inevitable. “It became imperative to go for a military operation in South Waziristan to regain the lost space that has been used as training ground for planning and executing attacks targeting key security installations of Pakistan including the GHQ,” the Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said earlier shortly after the launch of the operation.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

US to start issuing 100 visas from Karachi: Holbrooke

AUG 19 - The United States will start issuing 100 visas from Karachi next month. The announcement came from US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, while addressing a gathering at Governor House in Karachi on Wednesday afternoon.

The participants of the meeting included Federal and Provincial Ministers, Governor State Bank, prominent industrialists, educationists, bankers, intellectuals and senior journalists.

Holbrooke said that he wanted to make this announcement at his press conference later, but since the Governor has made a mention about it, he is making announcement here as well.

He announced that the US will start providing services from Karachi from next month. He said Karachi is one of the largest city of the world and the US recognizes its importance.

The Special US Envoy said that it was his first visit to Karachi but fifth to Pakistan in six months which is reflective of the importance the US attaches to Pakistan, specially in recent years.

On the occasion one of the participants Zubair Motiwala sought US help in the ongoing energy crisis, access to US markets, and in creation of employment opportunities which would bring a turnaround in the lives of people of Pakistan.

Holbrooke in reply said that US has made a focus on Pakistan’s energy problem and in this regard the US Secretary of State for Energy will visit Pakistan in three weeks.

He, however, pointed out that there are certain things which the US can do and certain things it can not do.

He made it clear that in US funds for anything are not given by the President but by the Congress which needs to be convinced for any financial help.

The Special US Envoy said that Pakistan and US have to work together in a much open manner.

Later, Senior Minister for Sindh Pir Mazharul Huq in his concluding remarks thanked Richard Holbrooke for his visit to the province and said that it is a province where everyone is working in close coordination with each other.

Earlier Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan welcomed Richard Halbrooke and introduced the guests to him who included Karachi city Mayor Mustafa Kamal, Federal and Provincial Ministers, Governor State Bank, Speaker and Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly, prominent industrialists, educationists and intellectuals.

He thanked Holbrooke for sparing time for a visit to Karachi and said that Sindh is a very important province whose stability ensures the stability of Pakistan.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Dr Israr Ahmed on Blasphemy, Blasphemy law in Pakistan

AUG 11 POINT BLANK: Persecution of minorities in Pakistan, Blasphemy and Blasphemy law in Pakistan. Guest: Dr Israr Ahmed (Religious Scholar)

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (3)

Musharraf in hot seat but will he be prosecuted?

PKonweb Report

An Islamabad session court judge has directed police officials to file an FIR (First Information Report - meaning registering a criminal case against someone) against former President Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf for detaining seven of the superior court judges and their families in their houses after proclaiming emergency on Nov 3, 2007.

The seven judges including the Chief Justice had passed a verdict against the emergency and instructed all judges not to take fresh oath from the General.

According to DAWN, the case had not been registered till late in the evening, but a senior police officer told the paper that it would ‘definitely be done within a few hours’.

Sources told the newspaper that an emergency meeting was called in the interior ministry, which was attended by senior officers of the interior and law ministries and officers of police and their legal branch. Details of the meeting remain unknown but it is yet another bushfire the ousted General now faces in a span of less than a month.

On July 31 the Supreme Court ruled against his emergency of Nov 3, 2007 making all steps taken by him thereafter illegal and unconstitutional. In the absence of his indemnity by the previous parliament or from the existing parliament, defending his emergency acts is a steep hill to climb for the ex-general.

In the presence of a strong independent media now (ironically it was him to created it), a strong and popular public support for his nemesis Nawaz Sharif and a somewhat a neutral army chief of staff, it is likely that Musharraf may be forced to have his day in court. What transpires is any body’s guess.

Some observers strongly feel that the military won’t let its ex-chief go through the humiliation. A similar attempt of army humiliation by then PM Nawaz Sharif in 1999 had triggered a mutiny by a catorie of Generals led by Gen Mehmood, Gen Usmani et al culminating in a coup that overthrew the civilian strongman and brought Gen Musharraf into power on October 12, 1999.

Chief of Army Staff Musharraf had been ordered retired while he was on his way back from Sri Lanka and replaced by Sharif’s handpicked Gen Zia uddin - then ISI chief and reportedly a relative. The Generals did not like it and rebelled against Musharraf’’s replacement. The Triple One Brigade did the rest.

Sources told Dawn that a case would be registered against the former president under section 344 of the Pakistan Penal Code which says:

‘Whoever wrongfully confines any person for ten days or more, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term, which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.’

If security czar Rehman Malik is to believed, an extradition treaty is in the works between UK and the Pakistan government which, if implemented soon, may force the British government to force Gen (R) Musharraf go back to Pakistan and face the criminal charges.

If the agreement is “delayed for some reasons” or there is deliberate foot-dragging, legally then it won’t be easy to make the retired General come back and face the charges but the British government may find it politically incorrect to let Musharraf continue to stay put in UK. He may then be nudged to cross the Atlantic or take up the Saudi offer for a well-cushioned self-exile in the kingdom.

The court order against the ex-President was passed by additional District and Sessions judge Mohammad Akmal Khan in response to petitions filed by advocate Aslam Ghuman about five months ago.

The judge in his short order observed that the respondent (Mr Musharraf) was liable to be tried under various legal and criminal provisions.

The court has already adjourned the case for twelve times in a span of five months and further adjournment over the issue was denied, he added.

The plaintiff requested the court to direct Islamabad police to register the case against the ex-President after the office of Senior Superintendent of Police did not record his complaint. Then the judge ordered the additional station house officer (SHO) of the secretariat police station (who was present in court) to register a case against the former president.

The plaintiff’s petition says that Gen (R) Musharraf illegally imposed Provisional Constitution Order on Nov 3, 2007, and detained Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and 60 other judges of superior judiciary along with their families after they had refused to take oath under the PCO.

The petition seeks the trial of Musharraf and others who played a role in implementing the PCO.

A large number of former and present parliamentarians, bureaucrats and police officials were also likely to be named in the case, sources told Dawn.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Can Musharraf be extradited to Pakistan?


ISLAMABAD: Bringing Musharraf back to Pakistan will be a crucial test for the PPP government if it decides to initiate high treason proceedings against the ousted dictator, as there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the United Kingdom. But Interior Minister Rehman Malik is sure that such a treaty would be signed soon.

Without referring to Musharraf, Rehman Malik had told The News a few days ago that there had been significant development regarding an extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK, and both countries could reach an agreement soon.

“I cannot give you a timeframe in this regard but I hope that we will sign this treaty with the UK,” Malik said. Asked that according to some credible information the UK did not want to sign any such treaty with Pakistan, Malik strongly dispelled the ‘impression’, saying there was no such thing as both countries had negotiated on every minute detail and only some legal aspects needed to be finalised.

“As soon as these legal formalities are finalised, both countries will sign the extradition treaty,” Malik said. When he was specifically referred to possible initiation of a high treason case against Musharraf and bringing him back to Pakistan, Malik avoided the question, saying he was working very hard for the law and order situation in the country and did not want to indulge in such things.

On the other hand, Pakistani High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hassan said on Tuesday that no talks had ever taken place since he (Wajid) assumed the office of the Pakistani high commissioner in London. “The talks were initiated during the Musharraf regime. However, no development have taken place after I came in the mission.”

When asked whether it was true that the UK was not interested in signing this treaty with Pakistan, Wajid said he could not say anything in this regard.

Asked whether he could identify the clauses of this treaty which were not moving forward, Wajid said different files in this regard were present in the High Commission and he could reply after checking out, preferably if requested through an e-mail. The high commissioner’s reply regarding hurdles in reaching an agreement would be reported soon.

Legal experts say Pakistan and the UK in the past had exchanged some criminals through a memorandum of understanding and the same practice could be adopted in case of Musharraf. Experts also say in case if there were hurdles in bringing Musharraf back in the absence of an extradition treaty, he could be brought back through Interpol, an option which the Interior Ministry could easily pursue without any legal hurdle, as the UK is also a signatory to the Interpol treaty on exchanging criminals.

Interior Ministry officials believe for a successful trial of Musharraf under Article 6 the ministry would have to swiftly make some strategy to get Musharraf back home after the proceedings are initiated.

-Source: The News-

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Musharraf getting army protocol in London

By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan High Commission (HC) in London has been directed by Islamabad to give former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf full protocol of ex-president during his stay in London, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Sham-ul-Hassan told The News.

“We are bound to act in line with the directions of Islamabad and we have been formally directed by the Foreign Office that Pervez Musharraf should be given the protocol of an ex-president, which we are giving to him,” said the high commissioner.

Wajid said the HC used to send a protocol car and a protocol officer to receive and see off Musharraf whenever he arrived or left the UK. He said they also arranged for a VIP lounge for Musharraf but the money was paid by the ex-dictator.

General Musharraf also has at his disposal the services of, at least, 12 regular officers of the Pakistan Army for his security in London, sources in the HC told The News.

A 12-member team of Pakistan Army’s regular officers is deputed at Musharraf’s luxurious residence situated on the Edgware Road, London, for his security and for providing him daily services. According to sources, this team is being paid a huge amount per month from the national exchequer.

Former chief of the Army staff (COAS) Mirza Aslam Beg, while talking to this correspondent, said that according to the rules and regulations of the Pakistan Army, no such protocol was permissible for an ex-Army chief. Beg disclosed that some years back there was some rule of providing a batman, a PS, a driver and an Army telephone to an Army chief on his retirement. “But Benazir Bhutto, during her second tenure as prime minister, had ordered the then COAS Jahangir Karamat to withdraw these facilities from me,” Beg said, adding: “This rule of providing no facility to an ex-Army chief made on the orders of Benazir Bhutto still prevails.”

Beg said no Jawan or officer of the Pakistan Army could be deputed with an Army chief after his retirement for security purposes. Provision of such a facility in a foreign country is simply out of the question. Beg, however, held the present government responsible for this, saying the Army chief on his own could not do so.

Spokesman for the Pakistan Army and DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas, while talking to The News, however, refuted Mirza Aslam Beg’s view, saying according to rules, certain number of staff was deputed with an ex-Army chief.

“I am not sure for what duration this staff can remain with an ex-Army chief,” Athar Abbas said when asked whether this staff had been deputed with Musharraf for some limited time. “I will not say more than this,” he said when asked whether according to these rules the staff deputed with an ex Army chief was also allowed to move to other countries if the ex-Army chief opted to leave the country.

Musharraf’s ex-spokesman Maj-Gen (retd) Rashid Qureshi, who returned to Pakistan recently after meeting his ex-boss in London, when approached by The News to confirm the information simply lost his temper. “Everybody has seen your bias and prejudice. No one likes to talk to you.” This correspondent failed to understand what he was referring to — me, my newspaper, my group or the entire media.

A new self-styled spokesman of Musharraf, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, when approached in London for comments, said: “Yes, there are some Army officials deputed with Musharraf but according to my knowledge some of them have resigned from their Army positions.”

Saif, however, admitted that this 12-member team was headed by a serving Colonel, Ilyas, of the Pakistan Army. When asked whether according to rules Musharraf, as an ex-Army chief, could have such a protocol, Saif replied that this question should be put to the Pakistan Army.

To a question, Saif said that if an “unbiased” commission or tribunal was formed for the trial of General Musharraf under the Article-6, the ex-general could appear before it. He said Musharraf was going to the US in early September for delivering lectures and would be free by mid-October. He said he had also received invitations from some South American countries, including Brazil. He said after that, Musharraf would think about returning to Pakistan.

Wajid Sham-ul-Hassan also confirmed to The News that Colonel Ilyas interacted with the HC for matters regarding Musharraf. “I don’t know how many Army officials have been appointed at Musharraf’s residence,” he said.  (News source: The News International)

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Musharraf’s penchant for tabla

PKonweb Report

AUG 1 - A group of senior journalists was pretty well amused to hear from Lord Nazir Ahmed of the British House of Lords that former military dictator Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf had not only good ear for music but could also give a ‘perfect’ performance on tabla (a pair of small drums beaten with performer’s fast moving fingers).

Lord Nazir, who has seriously taken up with the British government the issue of providing extraordinary security to Pervez Musharraf, quoting a friend, disclosed that two guards always accompany the former dictator even when he goes to attend private music functions arranged for him by his friends in London.

According to Lord Nazir’s friend, Musharraf was recently invited as chief guest to a music show where he felt that the tabla nawaz (drum beater) accompanying the singer had gone out of rhythm. Dissatisfied, rather irritated by tabla performer’s odd beats, the chief guest himself jumped to the stage and entertained the audience with the ‘best of beats’ his agile fingers could extract from the pair of small drums.

Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar on Saturday said that it would be better for the former president to stay in London. He was talking to a private TV channel, where he said it was better for Musharraf not to return to Pakistan. Babar said that Musharraf’s return to Pakistan might cause problems for both the government and for Musharraf. In response to a question, he said Musharraf had not been pressured to leave the country.

The Guardian newspaper of UK reported Saturday that Musharraf faces exile in Britain because his presence may destabilise the country.

Mr Musharraf, who was ousted from power in August 2008, has been in Britain for the past two months and is reported to be on a luxury cruise.

He is also reported to have bought an expensive apartment in London.

Now, the Guardian said, he may have to extend his stay in Britain — a move made at the urging of Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani.

Posted in NewsComments (1)

Supreme Court declares Nov 3, 2007 steps unconstitutional

PKonweb Report

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Friday declared the steps taken on November 3, 2007 by former president Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf unconstitutional thereby opening doors for potential case of treason against him.

Charges of treason can only be brought against him by the parliament. The Chief Justice yesterday clarified this issue stating such matters are upto the parliament to take up and not the judiciary.

Musharraf, who came to power in a coup in 1999, quit as president almost a year ago to avoid impeachment and has been living in London for the past two months.

Some argue that holding Musharraf accountable would deter military strongmen from trying to seize power in the future and give a chance for democratic institutions to grow in a country that has spent about half its existence under army rule.

The flip side is that pursuing Musharraf could shake the political establishment and reopen old wounds at a time when Pakistan faces huge tasks in battling Taliban insurgents and reviving its economy.

The judgment came after the 14-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry completed the hearing of constitutional petitions regarding PCO judges, appointments of judges of higher judiciary and November 3, 2007 steps.

The Supreme Court in its short verdict declared the steps of November 3, 2007 taken by former president Pervez Musharraf as unconstitutional. Article 279 of the Constitution was violated on November 3, 2007, it said.

It termed as illegal and unconstitutional the sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the other higher judiciary as well as the appointment of Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar as chief justice.

The oath taken by President Asif Ali Zardari will not be affected by the SC verdict, it said.

All the appointments made in the higher judiciary of Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar have been termed illegal.

It termed as unconstitutional all the appointments of judges during November 3, 2007 to March 24, 2008.

It said the number of Supreme Court judges will continue to remain 16.

It declared unconstitutional all the steps taken by Pervez Musharraf during November 3, 2007 to December 15, 2007 including the increasing of number of superior judges through finance bill.Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry announced the verdict.

The verdict said all the appointments of judges on and after November 3, 2007 under PCO were unconstitutional.

The case of PCO judges will be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council, it said.

The announcement of today’s verdict sent a wave of jubilation outside the Supreme Court and at all the bar associations countrywide.

Sweets were distributed as people and lawyers chanted slogans hailing the decision and in support of the judiciary.

The 14-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry reserved the judgment after completing the hearing of the case and announced it after a delay of over four and a half hours.

Posted in NewsComments (2)

Malik Qayyum also dumps Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: Pervez Musharraf’s top legal adviser Malik Qayyum is of the opinion that the Supreme Court can initiate high treason proceedings against the former president.

“I don’t know what the apex court will do, but it can initiate high treason proceedings on its own,” he told our sources outside the Court Room No 1, where a 14-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the arguments of Hamid Khan throughout the day against the November 3, 2007 action of the former military dictator, who is now hiding in London.

“The Supreme Court has full authority to declare the November 3 proclamation and the subsequent acts unconstitutional.” At one point during the proceedings, the chief justice remarked that nothing special happened when English General Cromwell was hanged after taking him out of his grave.

Ironically, no counsel appeared before the bench on Musharraf’s behalf in response to a notice issued by the court a week back. Qayyum stayed in the court room for a few minutes but did not think it fit to avail the opportunity to defend his former boss as he had no such instructions from him.

“Musharraf didn’t accept my advice, and rather accepted Abdul Hafeez Pirzada’s counsel not to appear before the court,” Malik Qayyum said. Other sources said Pirzada advised Musharraf to take the stance that the present apex court has no legal status to review his November 3 action and the subsequent orders, which are part of the Constitution, as included in its copies printed by the present government.

Legal experts believed that the arguments before the bench were meant to establish high treason charges against conspirators, who committed this crime against the Constitution and state on November 3.

Strangely, Qayyum and Hamid Khan agreed that the Supreme Court could delete 270-AAA that was made part of the Constitution to validate the November 3 and the following actions. But while Qayyum believed that 270-AAA was part of the Constitution Hamid Khan held the opposite view. Qayyum said the Supreme Court could order scrapping of 270-AAA from the Constitution.

Then, he said something that might give sleepless nights to all those who are currently enjoying high official positions. “I can’t say anything exactly about the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) but according to the chief justice’s observation all the ordinances stood automatically cancelled after a lapse of four months, meaning that the NRO too has met the same fate,” he said when asked whether scrapping of 270-AAA would render the NRO redundant.

Hamid Khan discussed the circumstances and background of imposition of martial laws as well as the November 3, 2007 act of Musharraf. At one stage during the hearing, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany asked him to tell about the abettors and those who drafted “Article 270-AAA”. His reply was that Attorney General Latif Khosa could provide exact names of such people. He said he knew that millions of rupees were paid to them.

“At least I was not among those who drafted 270-AAA,” Qayyum told this correspondent. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry expressed disappointment on passing of a resolution by parliament in favour of November 3 acts. It reminded about one of the admissions, though highly belated, by Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, who in a TV talk show said he and his uniformed colleagues committed high treason in 1977 when they toppled Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government and later hanged him.

“There is only one punishment for this crime — death,” he said. “But it was not awarded because the then parliament validated our unconstitutional acts. If the same parliament (that came into being in 1985 and gave immunity to Gen Ziaul Haq’s unconstitutional acts) reverses its decision, I am ready to present myself as an offender of high treason.”

As the chief justice remarked about previous parliament’s act of approving a resolution, the attorney general swiftly stood up to say, “Sir, we (Pakistan People’s Party-PPP) were not present in the session when parliament passed this resolution.”

But Hamid Khan clarified that the then opposition (minus PPP) had resigned much before passing of this resolution. He, in fact, was pointing towards the fact that before Musharraf’s election as president in army uniform the opposition had resigned in protest so that presidential election could have no legal and moral basis but the PPP, following a deal with the then military dictator, had not resigned, though they had not participated in the said parliament session.

It is also worth mentioning here that after passing of this highly controversial resolution on November 20, 2007, the controversial NRO was given so-called ‘constitutional cover’ through 270-AAA by the then military dictator Pervez Musharraf. At one stage, the chief justice remarked, “We are hearing case against our brother judges. In no case we can support unconstitutional steps. And now the time of decision has arrived.”

A clause of 270-AAA, which unconstitutionally empowered the Supreme Court to transfer any case under hearing in a high court to some other high court, also came under fire during the hearing. It is worth mentioning here that major beneficiary of this amendment was Musharraf’s close friend Hamesh Khan and Haris Steel owners, who are accused in the Bank of Punjab scam. (News source: Paktribune.com)

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Poll: 88 pct say US not Pakistan’s friend

Humayun Gohar, Rana Ijaz Ahmed, Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami in discussion on Point Blank with Mubashir Luqman. Topic is” Is America our friend and ally or not? 88 percent said in a poll it is not.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (1)

Gen (R) Musharraf ‘advised’ not to return

JULY 27 - Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has been advised not to return to Pakistan as his adversaries have chalked out a plan to drag him to courts on various counts while some extremist groups are also active in the wake of speculation regarding Musharraf’s return.

The retired general has been in constant contact with his old aides, serving and otherwise, and weighing the pros and cons of returning home. He has ultimately decided not to come back this week since he was summoned by the apex court on Wednesday next.

A petition is likely to be submitted by one of his counsels before the Supreme Court for adjournment so that he could study the case. Musharraf has not been classified as a defendant or witness in the matter pending before the apex court but his status could be altered once the proceedings get underway in the court.

A close associate of the former president has revealed that Pervez Musharraf has been provided an additional four sleuths by the Scotland Yard immediately after some political leaders in London threatened him. Pervez Musharraf has planned to proceed to some European universities in the next four weeks to deliver lectures. He could change his plan in the wake of fear of agitation.

The sources close to the former president claim that the retired general has no problem in staying on in London. In case he finds some difficulty in living in the British capital, he could move to California where his son Bilal Musharraf is living. It is yet to be determined how the US administration would react to the plan of the former president visitng the United States this time.

Musharraf could also shift to Chicago where his elder brother is living. The sources said that Musharraf would make a decision about his future course of action in September next and till then he would avoid returning.

Come Novermber, the two-year moratorium on ex-government officials entering politics will expire. Observers believe he has been planning to enter politics but with the recent legal abberation in his life could become a real speed-breaker.

He is in constant contact with his successors through his own channels. He could seek their advice before making any final decision on returning home. Currently, he is not getting any favourable advice on his return.

Posted in NewsComments (2)

Muslim Singles, Matrimonial, Shaadi and Marriage Introductions Online - SingleMuslim.com

Talk Shows

  • DO TOK with Mazhar Abbas on ARY: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 2:55 am

    History of corruption and political revenge, NRO, etc. Guests: Faisal Raza Abidi (PPP), Siddiq-ul-Farooq (PML-N), Khalid Ranjha (PML-Q) and Justice (R) Tariq Mahmood.

  • MERAY MUTABIQ with Dr. Shahid Masood: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 2:18 am

    A MUST WATCH: Govt publishes NRO beneficiary list as Nov 28 approaches when NRO will expire. Guests: Roedad Khan (Ex-Bureaucrat), Ansar Abbasi (Analyst), Md Saleh Zafir (Analyst)

  • SAWAL YEH HAI with Dr. Danish: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:47 am

    Govt published list of NRO beneficiaries. Guests: Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP), Haidar Abbas Rizvi (MQM), Mushahid ullah Khan (PML-N) and Marvi Memon (PML-Q)

  • DUNYA TODAY with Dr. Moeed Pirzada: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:30 am

    A MUST WATCH: Dr Maleeha Lodhi’s interview on Gen James Jones (Natl Security Advisor to Obama) delivery of Obama’s special letter to President Zardari asking Pakistan to take on the Afghan Taliban who attack US forces inside Afghanistan from Pakistan’s tribal areas.

  • TONIGHT with Najam Sethi: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:19 am

    A MUST WATCH: Najam Sethi holds a no-holds-barred discussion with Gen. (R) Rashid Qureshi (Ex-DG ISPR) who later became spokesman of Gen (R) Musharraf until the end.

  • RSSArchive for Talk Shows »
PK Papers
Biz Recorder

Daily Times
The Nation
The News
Frontier Post
Daily Express
Daily Ibrat
Friday Times

Help Wanted

PHP Programmer in Pakistan to work for us from home; Cartoonist based in Pakistan; Photographers based in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad; Send Resume to: [email protected]

Daily Posts

November 2009
« Oct