Tag Archives: Musharraf

Pakistan Violence Strikes At Prime Minister

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani survived an assassination attempt when gun men tried to shoot him while in his car. Meanwhile, the car carrying Lynne Tracy, the key American diplomat in the northwest region, was also fired upon as she drove to her office. There undoubtedly will be further attempts to kill important political figures in the Pakistan government which is confronting new conflict as a result of the collapse of its coalition government. Pakistan prosecutors said they were proceeding with investigating corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N who made the fatal mistake of quitting the coalition government led by Asif Zardari.

Both Sharif and Zardari have been charged in the past with being guilty of corruption. As part of their agreement with former President Musharraf, the charges were suspended when they returned to Pakistan. Sharif wanted former Supreme Court justices who wee fired by Musharraf to be restored to office, but Zardari refused to do what he had promised. He fears the restored judges would investigate corruption of him so the solution was keeping them out of office.

The real question to ask of Pakistan political leaders is– can they form a government which has men and women who have previously not been charged with corruption?

Zardari To Be New Pakistan President

Several years ago, Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Benazir Bhutto was a shunned figure who was notorious for situations in which charges of corruption were leveled against him. His enemy, President Musharraf would not even allow him to return to Pakistan, but the growing conflict with militants and the chaos resulting from the president’s discharge of supreme court justices, enabled Bhutto and her spouse to return home. After her death, Zardari assumed the position of co-chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party and led the fight to oust Musharraf from the presidency. Reports indicate Zardari will become the new president of Pakistan, which in effect, means a failed president is being replaced by one who carries a reputation of being corrupt.

The Pakistan Muslim League -N, led by Nawz Sharif is not particularly pleased with the selection of one who is Sharif’s main rival for power. Life in the coming months should be interesting as the two power hungry men vie for leadership.

Musharraf Blames Opponents For Pakistan Problems

After announcing his resignation, President Musharraf of Pakistan told his nation he had worked to maintain constitutional government and current problems have been caused by political parties. He emphasized his decision to resign was due to his concern over averting a constitutional crisis and did not stem from any wrong doing on his part. “To me, Pakistan was always first, it remains so and will always be first.” He made clear his opposition to any form of “horse trading” because he did not wish to subject his friends in the armed forces in any political infighting. The outgoing president blamed the current government for what he termed an “economic meltdown” and argued any current economic problems began when the current political coalition assumed office.

President Musharraf is gone but large problems remain that cannot be blamed on his administrative leadership. It is still unclear if Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People’s Party will seek the office of president, but Zardai made clear, as far as he was concerned, “let bygones by bygones” and he would not seek any judicial action against the departing president.

Musharraf Bows To Reality And Resigns

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf looked into the mirror of reality and concluded it was time for him to step down as leader of his nation or face the prospect of a bitter impeachment process in Parliament. He appeared on live television where in a trembling voice, the man who had guided Pakistan for nearly nine years, told the nation, he was leaving the seat of power. “If I was doing this just for myself, I might have chosen a different course. but I put Pakistan first, as always. Whether I win or lose the impeachment, the dignity of the nation would be damaged, the office of the president harmed. Even if I beat this impeachment, relations between the presidency and the government can never be fixed.”

Within moments after the president spoke, celebrations broke out in many Pakistan cities as people realized they had finally gotten rid of a man who had created turmoil and anger within the nation. “It’s just like I’m celebrating my wedding,” said Malik Naveed, a lawyer. There is no doubt, Pakistan army leaders had told Musharraf they would not intervene to assist his fight with Parliament. Similarly, allies in the United States and Saudi Arabia made clear they wanted him to leave. Some reports suggest Musharraf may seek refuge in Saudi Arabia.

Now, the question remains as to who will assume the office of president of Pakistan.

Musharraf Choices– Fight Or Flight!

Leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) which dominates the government believe President Musharraf is fighting go gain several points before he submits his resignation. If Musharraf does not resign within the next 72 hours, he will most probably confront the reality of an impeachment process which will be won by parliament. Reports indicate Musharraf still believes the army will not allow the humiliation of one of its former commanders and that President Bush will be of some assistance to avoid impeachment. However, according to some sources the PPP will shortly approach Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani and ask him to negotiate a deal under which Musharraf will step down from the office of president and go into exile.

The ruling coalition has the numbers in Parliament to carry through with an impeachment of the president. Asif Zardari, co-chair of the PPP put it this way: There are two schools of thought about how to deal with the current situation. “One says that in a battle field you always leave room for exist so that you lose the least and he opposition has a chance to retreat. The other school is that let him confront the enemy and let parliament do what parliaments have done to the dictators of the world.”

If Musharraf has learned anything from events of the past few years it should be never to trust George Bush’s advice. Always do the opposite.

President Musharraf To Resign Tomorrow

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is expected to announce his resignation from office tomorrow on Independence Day. This information was conveyed to the Daily Times of Islamabad by a senior official in the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid which supports the president. The agreement dealing with his resignation indicates if he resigns prior to any impeachment process, he will be granted safe passage and allowed to leave the country without any punishment. There are reports President Musharraf is being urged in his resignation statement to apologize to the nation for sacking members of the Supreme Court last fall.

It is understood if he resigns President Musarraf will remain in the office of president for several days until he is able to formally shift power to the new president. He most probably will remain in his home for a few weeks and then leave the nation.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People’s Party, made known he expects the resignation within the coming days and once it is announced he will bring together all parties in his coalition and work out who will become the president. Some sources suggest Zardari might assume that office, but this is still at a rumor stage.

Turmoil Continues In Pakistan Over Impeachment Issue

President Musharraf last fall fired several important judges who opposed his unilateral actions and since that moment the issue of restoring the sacked judges has plagued the Pakistan government. Upon assuming control of the government, the Pakistan Peoples Party(PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zardari, decided the best course of action was to proceed slowly and work toward restoration of the judges while dealing with immediate issues confronting his nation. However, his coalition ally, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by Nawaz Sharif, insisted the judges should be restored and that Musharraf should be impeached and removed from office. Many Pakistani officials fear a confrontation between the legislature and the presidency is not appropriate at this moment such an impeachment trial would literally put the government at a standstill.

The decision of the PPP to accept demands of the PML-N is unfortunate. President Musharraf undoubtedly deserves to be removed from office, but step one should be restoring the sacked judges and waiting a few months until the volatile situation in the tribal areas has calmed down before preceding with an impeachment process.

Musharraf Fears Impeachment Process In Pakistan

President Pervez Musharraf has delayed his expected visit to the Olympic Games amidst rumors circulating that an impeachment process if being planned to remove him from office. Pakistan People Party co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari reached a conditional agreement with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz head, Nawaz Sharif to institute impeachment proceedings against the president if they can get the support of other parties in the ruling coalition. A major issue has been insistence on the part of Nawaz Sharif that judges who were removed by Musharraf last fall be restored to office and both parties apparently have agreed that once Musharraf is gotten rid of the issue of restoring those judges can readily be handled.

The plan is for all parties to agree on the issues that will be cited in removing the president and Musharraf will be given an opportunity to defend himself in public. President Musharraf has made a serious blunder in not confronting the issue of the sacked judges and by not assuming leadership he has caused the present crisis to emerge.

Rumors Of President Musharraf Assuming Power

Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, leader of the opposition in the Pakistan Parliament warned the nation that President Musharraf might invoke Article 58(2b) to dismiss parliament if law and order and the economic situation did not begin to show signs of improvement. He charged the governing Pakistan People’s Party had not been able to tackle serious economic problems the country was facing which might require action on the part of President Musharraf to assume unilateral power in the nation. It appears Elahi is warning the PPP that President Musharraf could claim he was acting in the “interests of the Pakistan people” by dismissing parliament and assuming dictatorial power.

Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani told the press his government recognized the growing economic problems besetting the nation and was attempting to take decisive actions to deal with poverty. He said the two major issues confronting Pakistan are economic stagnation and law and order. His government is currently using negotiations with the Talban in tribal areas to reduce violence but if that strategy fails, it would assume a different track which most probably entails more extensive military action. The prime minister made clear that President Musharraf did not have power to dissolve parliament.

Pakistan’s Leaders Attempt To Create Unity Government

Pakistan is a nation caught in the turmoil of conflict and disunion, not merely within its own territory, but on its border with Afghanistan. Its leaders have only recently assumed office only to be confronted with a president who is vastly unpopular, but still retains enormous power. The United States continually denounces inaction on the part of Pakistan as the root cause of terrorist success in Afghanistan. The ruling coalition which challenged President Musharraf has broken apart as the economy heads down and there are still conflicts with India. Leaders of Pakistan came together yesterday in an effort to resolve internal conflicts so the nation could proceed with addressing its major issues of peace, economic development, and restoration of democracy.

Sharif Nawaz, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N sent his brother to represent him at the meeting with Prime Minister Gilani, and Asif Ali Zardari, who co-chairs the Pakistan People’s Party. Gilani emphasized there was need to decide how to handle the volatile northwest region which is the center of terrorist activity and the cause of American unhappiness. The Americans want military action, but the initial focus of the coalition has been on diplomacy in dealing with tribal chieftains in the region as well as trying to talk the Taliban into ending its activities.

A major source of concern to the PML-N is their desire to force President Musharraf from office and restore to power the judges he deposed. The PPP prefers dealing with economic issues and resolving problems with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Unless, Pakistan moves as a united government, there is scant hope any issues can be resolved in the forseeable future.