Tag Archives: Musharraf

CIA Blames Al-Qaeda For Bhutto Death

CIA Diector Michael Hayden claimed there was proof the killing of Benazir Bhutto was committed by agents of al-Qaeda. “You’ve got this nexus now,” he said, “that probably was always there in latency, but is now active: a nexus between Al-Qaeda and various extremist and separatist groups.” Many people in Pakistan argue the Musharraf government had a hand in the death of Bhutto, but, the American CIA apparently has its own sources which point elsewhere. President Musharraf insists the February 18 election will proceed according to schedule and ruled out the formation of any national unity government prior to the electorial process.

Of course, President Musharraf requested an investigation by Scotland Yard concerning the killing of Bhutto, but the CIA apparently has trumphed the English police by establishing the cause of death. Unfortunately, most Pakistanis will not believe anythingthat emanates from the CIA and will await the Scotland Yard conclusion. There may be times when silence from the CIA would be beneficial.

Turmoil Continues In Pakistan As Taliban Storms Fort

The confusing twisting tale of Pakistan continues as the Taliban stormed a fort on the frontier and allegedly killed 15 Frontier Corps(FC) soldiers and captured about 24. A source told the Lahore Daily Times that seven of the captives has their throats slit by Taliban victors. The Pakistan army claims it killed forty militants and that 15 men escaped from Sararougha Fort with several others still missing. On the political scene the situation is also confusing. Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari insisted there would be no power sharing with President Musharraf and his party intended to gain victory in the upcoming election despite difficulties placed in their path by a corrupt government. He refused to take the “crumbs of power from a dictator’s table. We will take our rightful share of power uner the constitution after a free and fair election.” When asked if he would cooperate with the Musharraf government after the election, Zardari responded it was a hypothetical question that could not be answered at the present time. Nazwaz Sharif, head of the PML-Q who agreed to work with the PPP urged creation of a national unity government with Musharraf.

At this point, no one knows what will happen in Pakistan other than the apparent certainty fighting will increase against the growing power of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The political situation will most probably end in some sort of compromise government which entails working with President Musharraf. The more important factor is increased attacks upon government positions in northwest regions by Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. Pakistan created these forces to fight India and to take over Afghanistan and now must live with its own legacy of violence which has turned upon its own creators.

Bhutto Party Might Work With Musharraf

The old adage politics makes strange bed fellows apparently has some validity in Pakistan where the Pakistan People’s Party of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto indicated it might cooperate with President Musharraf once the elections are over. Pakistan Peopole party spokesperson, Farhattullah Babar said, “all options are open.. these bridge which we will corss when they come.” He forsaw the need for a coalition of moderate forces in Pakistant to handle terrorism and militants which thus might require the PPP to cooperate with Musharraf who does fall into the category of a secular leader. In the meantime, Taliban leaders announced that 300 men had been assigned the task of killing prominent political and religious leaders over the coming months.

The politics of politics invariably brings out the pragmatic aspects of human life. Some leaders of the PPP are prepared to go to bed with the man they believe may have had a hand in the killing of their leader. But, she is dead and they are alive. So, on with the march to power.

Musharraf Claims Bhutto Unpopular With Army

President Musharraf of Pakistan told Newsweek in an interview appearing online that assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto was very unpopular with his nation’s military leaders and termed her an “unreligious person” who lacked the capability of fighting terrorism. The Taliban and al-Qaeda seek to destroy his society, but he intends to fight and defeat their efforts recognizing full well “they want to weaken me, they think they can take kover Pakistan.” He also opposed any investigation by a UN body into the killing of Bhutto.

Babar Awan, a leader in Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, denied that she was unpopular with the military and noted that as prime minister Bhutto had worked with military leaders in a cooperative manner. He termed Musharraf, “the most unpopular and hated military leader” who had no right to speak for the entire Pakistan military leadership.

Senator John Kerry commented yesterday that he had been told by Bhutto of her request to Musharraf for additiional security and had been denied that protection. Kerry said he communicated her concerns to the US State Department. Perhaps, President Musharraf fears an honest investigation which might eventually wind up identifying people who are close to him.

Musharraf To Bush— Keep Out Of Pakistan!

President Musharraf, in an interview with the Straits Times, made it clear that any unilateral action by the United States on Pakistan soil would be construed as an invasion. He made it clear the troublesome northwest region of Pakistan which contains insurgents and al-Qeda forces, is an integral part of his nation. :I challenge anybody coming into our mountains. They would regret the day. It’s not easy there.” However, he also said, “Nobody will come here until we ask them to come. And, we haven’t asked them.” the president praised the dead Benazir Bhutto for her courage and insisted it was still unclear how she died. In response to questins about the ISI, Musharraf explained there might be an “odd person…who is following his own agenda.”

It is interesting that Musharraf claims he told Bill Clinton who had visited Pakistan, about the importance of a political settlement in Afghanistan and claimed “senior elements within the Taleban are for a negotiated political settlement.” For some reason, Musharraf did not pass on his feeling to the current occupant of the White House. Back in Washington D.C., Admiral Michael Mullen told reporters the US was “extremely cocnerned” about al-Qaeda in Pakistan and it was up to Pakistan armed forces to take action. Perhaps, it is time for Musharraf to sit down and explain to President Bush there is need for a political settlement in Afghanistan.

It’s Slow Time For Bin Laden Hunt, Says Musharraf

President Muharraf of Pakistan told a CBS television audience his government has no extensive plan of action to capture Osama bin Laden. “We are not particularly looking for him, but we are operating against terrorists and Al Qaeda and militant Taliban. And in the process, obviously, combined, maybe we are looking for him also.” He claimed Pakistan’s armed forces had killed about 700 al-Qaeda leaders which is more than any other country has accomplished. Mahmoud Ali Durran, Pakistan’s envoy to the United States, said his president was merely trying to say that neither the US nor his nation had the slightest idea as to the hiding place of bin Laden.

The reality is that Pakistan’s ISI was the group which organized the Taliban and most probably are not that enthusiastic about destroying their creation. The Northwest Region of Pakistan is virtually under the control of tribal chieftains and al-Qaeda wanders around quite free from being captured. Perhaps, the first step in capturing bin Laden is to clean house of Pakistan’s intelligence service.

Changing Stories Of Bhutto Death

Pakistan security officials investigating the death of Benazir Bhutto have concluded she was killed by a single assassin who had a gun and a bomb. They believe he fired three shots and then blew himself up in order to kill the PPP leader. Plastic surgeon have reconstructed the face of the bomber and it is being circulated throughout the nation. A police officer has now stated he saw the man raise his arm, but got there to late to prevent the explosion. President Musharraf has now admitted his agreement with the new interpretation of the death.

The United States still insists that Musharraf must be supported and the best way to achieve that purpose is by encouraging an alliance between the Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party and Musharraf. However, all indications are that PPP leaders are leaning toward an alliance with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. IN the topsy turvy world of Pakistan politics there is little hope America’s coalition will emerge. We are left with a Musharraf standing alone and not allied with the opposition.

Muharraf In The Reporter’s Den-Questions And Answers

Pakistan Presdient Musharraf met a hostile group of international reporters who refused to back away from posing tough questions. The first question asked apparently infuriated the president. He was aksed how he could lead the nation when “many people in the country believe you have blood on your hands over Benazir Bhutto’s death.” Musharraf’s face went cold and he responded: “I consider the question below my dignity to answer. However, I would like to answer it.” He went on to point out he was raised by a cultured family tht did not believe in killing people. But, the questions kept on coming:
Would he bow to mounting public opinion and resign?
Was he in fear of his life given the levels of terrorist violence?
What about the charges of vote rigging before the election?

Musharraf defended his actions and made clear he was not afraid of being killed since he knew how to take car of himself. He slipped for a moment when complaining he had warned Bhutto about possible violence and even provided her with an armored car. Reporters pointed out she bought the car. He insisted her death was caused by being blown against the sun roof of the car and agreed there was need for further investigation. That is why he has summoned Scotland Yard. He did blame “inefficiency” at the crime scene of those in charge.

It is interesting that Musharraf’s Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s leader, Chuadhry Shujaat Hussain told reporters that it was important for the INter-Services Intelligence(ISI) to monitor actions of opposition political parties. “It keeps a watch on political parties and reports their anti-government and anti-state activities.” Perhaps, someone should inform Musharraf that in a democracy the opposition party is expected to oppose the state.

Musharraf Calls In Scotland Yard

In an address to the nation, President Musharraf announced a six week delay in Pakistan elections, claiming this decision was being made at the request of the Election Commission. He also said that Prime Minister Gordon Brown of England had been asked to send a special Scotland Yard team to help in the investigation of the murder of Benazir Bhutto. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, however, urged the involvement of the United Nations into any investigation effort, but his request was rejected by Musharraf.

There is no question Musharraf wanted an election, and, most probably gave those instructions to the Election Commission. He fears a powerful sympathy vote for Bhutto and wanted to put some time and space between the killing and the election. Nawaz Shariff, who heads the PML-N, stated he was going to proceed with efforts to form a coalition government with the Pakistan Peoples Party of Bhutto in the event he wins. He also flatly rejected any possibility of working with Musharraf in a coalition. A problem facing Pakistan is that its leaders have too many moral flaws and whoever gains power will most probably do nothing to end corruption. At this point, it is important to put in place an effective secular led government that can deal with terrorism and restore a semblance of democracy to Pakistan.

Pakistan Vote Delayed For Six Weeks

Pakistan’s Election Commission announced a postponement of the scheduled election this month until February 18 despite protests by Benazir Bhutto supporters. Observers expected a vote on January 8 would have resulted in a massive sympathy vote for the fallen leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Nawaz Shariff, leader of the PML-N, and an ally of Bhutto, strongly urged continuation of the voting process next week. President Musharraf is expected to address his nation today to discuss the election as well as agree to incorporation of foreign observers in an investigation of the assassination of Ms.Bhutto.

The George Bush grand design for a coalition of Bhutto and Musharraf had already collapsed long before her death. If election results on February 18 result in a victory for Musharraf’s Pakistan Muslim League party, one can expect the nation of Pakistan to erupt in anger such as never before in its history. Bush simply does not grasp the anger toward Musharraf among many Pakistanis.