Archive for the ‘Musharraf’ Category

Pakistan: President Diminished, Rival Triumphant

March 16, 2009

The promised reinstatement of Pakistan‘s chief justice defused a protest movement threatening the U.S.-allied government, but it could still spell trouble for the country’s struggling president.

The army is said to have directed President Asif Ali Zardari to defuse the developing showdown with opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and lawyers leading a column of protesters toward the capital Sunday night.

But by yielding to demands to restore judges fired by former military ruler and U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf, Zardari may have strengthened democracy in the nuclear-armed nation as it faces daunting security and economic challenges.

“Never before in Pakistan’s political history have you had people standing up for the rule of law, for the constitution,” said Nasim Zehra, a political and defense analyst. “Civil society has won out.”

Musharraf ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry in 2007 after he blocked a privatization deal, investigated the fate of hundreds of people allegedly held incognito by security agencies, and even questioned the legality of the ex-general’s rule.

But the move backfired as lawyers, rights activists, liberal media pundits — as well as the general’s political opponents — mounted a dogged campaign for an independent judiciary that turned the dour, mustachioed judge into an unlikely democratic icon.

The very same constellation has now humbled Zardari.

The slaying of former premier Benazir Bhutto catapulted her Pakistan People’s Party into power last year. Zardari, who took over his wife’s party and became president, forged a coalition with Sharif. The alliance collapsed as the two wrangled for power and Zardari reneged on a pledge to restore Chaudhry.

Sharif joined the opposition, but last month the Supreme Court ruled that he and his brother Shahbaz were inelegible for elected office. Zardari then dismissed the government Shahbaz led in Punjab, the most powerful Pakistani province.

Nawaz Sharif — who defied house arrest to participate in Sunday’s demonstration — accused Zardari of a power grab and urged his supporters to join lawyers and other activists planning to march on the capital, re-energizing the movement.

Zardari’s tough line also opened rifts in his party, which could weaken his grip and force him to pass on to Parliament some of the sweeping presidential powers accumulated by Musharraf, analysts said. He has pledged to give up the right to dissolve the assemblies and fire the government — but taken no concrete steps to do it.

“Zardari has come out badly bruised,” said Zahid Hussain, a Pakistani commentator. “He has managed to survive, but his power has certainly been curtailed.”

Sharif, in contrast, has emerged triumphant.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
316/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_analysis

http://albanylawlibrary.wordpress.c
om/2009/03/16/this-just-in/

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Pakistan Against Terror: “deliberately not taking action or incapable”

January 28, 2009

Before America pumps a lot more money into Pakistan to fight terrorism, we Americans might consider the words of India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of anti-terror action by Pakistan:

“Yes, one way you can make a differentiation that they are deliberately not doing or are incapable of doing. But as far as  India is concerned, the net impact is the same … the perpetrators are launching terror attacks from the territory of Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

“The infrastructural facilities there (are) used by them (for) committing crimes in India, not necessarily in this case but in a large number of cases in the past,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera news channel.

Mukherjee said India expects the Pakistan government to act against the perpetrators of terror acts operating from Pakistani soil.

“We expect Pakistan to act. Whatever is to be done from our side we are doing so … but Pakistan has to act because the handlers and planners (of  Mumbai attacks) were from Pakistan,” he said.

Related:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Pak_incap
able_of_action_against_terror/articleshow/4044
627.cms

Pakistan Resisting Terror War But Wants U.S. Funding
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 Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)
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Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support
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Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pakistan Resisting Terror War But Wants U.S. Funding

January 28, 2009

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called on the United States to halt its drone attacks against al Qaeda and Taliban fighters on Pakistani soil and warned that the missile strikes were fuelling militarism in the country’s troubled tribal border region.

This comes amid what appears to be a media blitz by Pakistan’s President Zardari and former President Musharraf to get more funding for Pakistan from the U.S.  Both men say Pakistan has been the number one ally of the U.S. in the anti-terror fight.

Related:
CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/01/28/davos.pakistan.pm/index.html

*****

From AFP

Pakistan on Wednesday hit back against US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, saying US missile strikes inside its borders were “counter-productive” to anti-terrorism efforts.

“Our policy remains unchanged and we believe drone strikes are counter-productive,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told AFP.

He was speaking in response to a statement from Gates that the United States would “go after Al-Qaeda wherever Al-Qaeda is” and affirming that the new US administration’s position had been transmitted to the Pakistani government.

“Both President (George W.) Bush and President (Barack) Obama have made clear we will go after Al-Qaeda wherever Al-Qaeda is, and we will continue to pursue that,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090128/w
l_sthasia_afp/usmilitarygatesqaedapakista
n_20090128070539

Related:
 Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)
.
Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support
.
Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

An unmanned Predator drone. A suspected US missile strike Friday ... 
An unmanned Predator drone.(AFP/File/US Air Force)

Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)

January 28, 2009

Former Pakistan President Musharraf has been on a media blitz of sorts seeking love and money from the new Obama Aministration.

Musharraf got rich off Bush-Cheney.

Now President Zardari is at it; seeking U.S. approval and funding which may be in serious doubt.

Just yesterday Defense Secretary Gates said Predator drones would continue to invade pakistan’s air space in efforts to find and kill terrorists the Pakistani’s tolerate.

On Sunday, September 10, 2006, the late Tim Russet hosted Vice President Cheney on”Meet the Press.”  Cheney made an extremely long supporting speech on the importance of General Musharraf and pakistan to the United States.

I heard about this while in Pakistan working near my friend Muhammad.

Muhammad is now dead, killed by the Taliban, right near where the Predator drones are operating today.  Musharraf is no longer the kingpin in Pakistan.

But it was Tim Russert’s careful, probing inquiry with Cheney that opened my eyes to the growing troubles between the U.S. and Pakistan — and the kind of “over the top” support once given to Pakistan by the United States.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

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Part of Vice President Cheney’s Remarks on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Related:
 Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support

Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

January 24, 2009

The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.

And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.

After the economy and jobs, American interest in other more mundane things like global warming, the war against terror and international relations and foreign policy barely makes the poll needle move.

But every nation outside the U.S. is looking to every word and action from President Obama to help them decipher the new direction of the U.S. and much of the world.

[Review & Outlook]
AP

Each New Year in the U.S., dozens of newspapers list what is “out” from the old year and “in” for the New Year.

As the Asian or Lunar New Year is upon us, every nation in the world might feel the need to assess what is “in” or “out” since the President Obama tenure commenced.

China is worried and fear it may be “out.”  China loved George W. Bush as “China friendly” but has already signaled that “Houston, we have a problem.”

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner’s remarks about China in his Senate confirmation hearings already sent a shock wave through China.

Mark Lander of the New York Times wrote, “A  simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China ‘manipulates’ its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.”

And China does not see Hillary Clinton as a friend.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, left, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, looks on during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Carter and Kissinger were in China to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations which began on Jan 1st, 1979.  China hope relations with the U.S. will get even better, but the nation hated to see George W. Bush leave.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, POOL)

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow is ready to help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan by allowing the Americans to ship cargo intended for coalition forces across Russian territory.

But Medvedev and Putin in Russia are loathe to accept U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic and fear other U.S. meddlesome activity in Georgia and elsewhere.

Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”

Pakistan is worried that the flow of American money may dry up, as former President Musharraf of Pakistan seemed to indicate when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

But Pakistan is pleased there will be a new U.S. envoy to the region: Richard Holbrooke.

Iran and several “brothers against Zionism” in Hamas, Hezbollah, and among Palestinians and others seem emboldened by President Obama’s promise of a new way forward in the Middle East, stronger diplomatic efforts to resolve all difficulties, and the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy.

But naturally, this makes for some concern in Tel Aviv, Cairo and other capitals.

Many in Africa and in the human rights arena are delighted to see Barack Obama as President of the United States but also express some longing for President Bush’s work to fight AIDS and the abuse and neglect of refugees.

Will President Obama do more in Somalia or Darfur?

Mush remains unknown…..

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

In Mexico: indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks because of the “drug war.”

But when President-elect Obama, just before his inauguration, met Mexican President Calderon, the discussion was not about drugs or immigration.  The media was told Obama praised Calderon for his work on global warming and energy.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

The leadership of every nation on earth is asking, “What does President Obama mean to us?”

Related:
Poll: Economy, Jobs Top Americans’ Priorities (Global Warming Last); Obama Solutions?

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pakistan welcomes appointment of U.S. envoy

 Most World Leaders Encouraged By Obama Time; Putin Ready for Disappointment

Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”

Islamist insurgents display their weaponry in Mogadishu during a parade in mid-January.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/01/24/un.somalia/index.html

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

January 24, 2009

Pakistan has been the staunchest ally of the United States in the war against terror, President George W. Bush often told us, to say nothing of Vice President Cheney’s unprecidented support for the South Asian nuclear power.

Yet Pakistan was never able to find in itself the courage to pick one side or the other: democracy and the United States or Islam and the Taliban.  Anti-terror or terror.

Because Pakistan refused for most of the Bush Administration to use its army to root out the Taliban and al-Qaeda (maybe even Osama bin Laden himself) from the tribal areas near Afganistan, the U.S. started raining down death on terror leaders iside Pakistan from predator drones armed with missiles.

Countless terror leaders were killed.

An unmanned Predator drone. A suspected US missile strike Friday ... 
An unmanned Predator drone. A suspected US missile strike Friday killed at least three foreign militants in the northwest Pakistan stronghold of a local Taliban commander, a senior security official said.(AFP/File/US Air Force)

Pakistan was torn further internally by its number one ally and benefactor, the U.S., ignoring preas from its government to stop violating its sovereign borders — from the air.  Pakistan even mustered its Air Force to the tribal areas in attempts to find and destroy the U.S. drones — with little consequence.

Now Pakistan has a new Government headed by Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani.  Musharraf is out.  And India along with much of the world believes that Pakistan had some hand in the terror attack in Mumbai.

Re-enter Musharraf:

“Pakistan is being treated so unequally while we are the ones who are in the lead role fighting the global war on terror,” said Pervez Musharraf, interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for “The Situation Room.”

“This is what hurts Pakistan. It hurts the leadership. Indeed, it hurts the government. It hurts the people of Pakistan,” said Musharraf, speaking from Dallas, Texas, during a book tour in the United States.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says anti-American sentiment in Pakistan is high.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says anti-American sentiment in Pakistan is high.

“Nobody in Pakistan is comfortable with the strikes across the border. There is no doubt in that. Public opinion is very much against it,” he said. “But as far as this issue of the new president — President Obama having taken over and this continuing — but I have always been saying that policies don’t change with personalities; policies have national interest, and policies depend on an environment.

“So the environment and national interest of the United States being the same, I thought policies will remain constant,” he said.

Musharraf seems to be making a plea to President Obama, who has claimed a “new way” in the Middle East and with Iran, that Pakistan too deserves a new lease on life — and American wealth in the form of aid and assistance; of which Musharraf has been one of the number one beneficiaries in the past….

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
asiapcf/01/23/pakistan.musharraf/index.html

Pakistan is World Leader in Anti-Terror Fight — Musharraf

January 10, 2009

Pakistan has done more than any other nation in the global war against terrorism, former President Pervez Musharraf said, in defense of his country’s response to the attacks in Mumbai.

“Pakistan has lost a large number of security personnel and civilians in the fight against terrorism,” Musharraf said today in a televised interview from Islamabad. “The world community, including India and Pakistan, must fight the root of extremism and terrorism.”

By Farhan Sharif
Bloomberg

Ties between India and Pakistan have deteriorated since the Nov. 26-29 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that left 164 people dead. India and the U.S. have pressed for a thorough investigation of the attacks, and the government in Islamabad has confirmed that the surviving gunman is a Pakistani national.

Indian authorities say Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only one of 10 gunmen to survive the assault in Mumbai, told interrogators the attacks were planned and carried out by the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Until three days ago, Pakistan said there was no proof its nationals were involved.

Musharraf, an army general who seized power in a 1999 coup, turned Pakistan into an ally of the U.S. in its war against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks. He quit as president in August to avoid impeachment by a civilian coalition government elected in February.

The Mumbai attacks interrupted the five-year peace process between the two South Asian nations, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

Indian Allegations

“I regret that all the developments on both sides for dialogue, peace and coordination built in the past over many years were washed out by one terror incident, which the people of both sides condemn,” Musharraf said, referring to the mounting tension between the two neighbors.

Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations the attackers received the support of official agencies in Pakistan and said such accusations could raise tensions. India is examining all options to stop border infiltration and prevent terrorist attacks, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said on Jan. 7.

“Pakistan’s forces and people have all the ability to defend the country,” Musharraf said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=asH0IVWuaIos