Tag Archives: Sharif

Pakistan Seeks Compromise Solution

Pakistan simply can not escape some form of turmoil and its people have never enjoyed a few years of peace and calm. The latest eruption stemmed from anger on the part of Nawaz Sharif to use anger among Pakistan lawyers as a tool in his bid for power in government. Thousands of lawyers are still angry at President Musharraf who fired Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and replaced him with someone who would not anger the government. After Musharraf was forced from office, Sharif wanted the new president, Asif Ali Zardari to reinstate Chaudhry, but the president retained the Musharraf appointee. Sharif was banned from politics by the current courts and is now formenting anger among lawyers in order to force a change in government and get back his right to participate in politics.

Zardari sees Chaudhry as a threat to his own power. A proposed compromise would create a constitutional court and an appellate court and Chaudhry would head one. Under the compromise, Sharif who was chief minister in Punjab would get the right to appeal his removal and the province assembly would appoint a new chief minister. There are no perfect solutions in life.

Somehow, Pakistan has to get back to focusing on ending the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat or there will be a disaster that could shake the world.

More Trouble In Pakistan

If Pakistan did not have enough trouble, they have more headed for a final resolution either today or in the coming weeks. Nawaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has been told by the courts of his country that both he and his brother are barred from running for office in the province of Punjab which is the nation’s most significant state. He is furious at the Supreme Court which has consistently ruled against him and blames President Zardari for being the man behind the scenes determining who can or cannot rule against him. The prior head of the Indian Supreme, Iftikhar Chaudhry, was sacked by former President Musharraf and Sharif wants him restored to office. He is attempting to organize a march of thousands or hundreds of thousands who would demand the restoration to power of Chaudhry. Sharif assumes once in office, the new Supreme Court justice will allow him to run for public office.

The problem at this time is looming in the coming days is a march by thousands of lawyers, continued instability in tribal areas, and a nation whose economy is declining as militants gain more power in the nation, A basic issue is how does Pakistan get someone in charge who can run the country. Who knows, the Pakistan might decide they have to step in.

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?

Is A Mad Man Destined For Pakistan Leadership?

The resignation of President Musharraf from office has opened the door to power to an individual whose 11 years as a political prisoner in Pakistan resulted in psychiatrists concluding he was a bundle of nerves and traumatized by the experience. Asif Ali Zardari, appeared to psychologists who examined him as a man who had a complete mental breakdown and couldn’t even remember being married to Benazir Bhutto or his own birthday. But, today, due to his wife’s assassination last fall, he stands at the pinnacle of power and will undoubtedly triumph in his quest for the presidency by defeating arch rival Nawaz Sharif. In November, 2007, he merely hovered in the background as his wife dominated the scene, but with her death, the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) was compelled to appoint him to the position of co-chair with his son.

Zardari is a man bent on revenge and he is willing to break promises or agreement in his quest for power. He originally agreed with Nawaz Sharif that once back in office, Supreme Court justices would be restored to power, but Zardari feared such an action might place in a position of power justices who not only would rule against Musharraf, but himself. He fears powerful judges who might investigate charges of corruption against him.

There is no effective leadership in Pakistan and there will still be none once Zardari is elected president. The future may well lie in an assumption of power by General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of staff. Someone has to deal with the myriad of problems facing the nation and Zardari is not the man for that task.

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.

Clash Of Power In Pakistan As Lawyers March

The “long march” of Pakistan’s lawyers which seeks to force President Musharraf to resign and to compel judges appointed by him to join the exit has now reached the capital in Islamabad where speeches will greet the marchers. It is estimated the final march will witness about 40,000 people including lawyers, political workers and civil servants. In an editorial in the Lahore Times, the newspaper took to task the entire episode claiming its original purpose for political change has become transformed into a vehicle for political opportunists who are using the lawyers in order to win an election. Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, will be on the platform when marchers arrive to deliver another of his angry speeches insisting Musharraf must go along with judges he appointed. The editors support the current focus of Pakistan People Party leader Zardari who is trying to avoid a constitutional crisis for the newly formed government. He prefers to curb Musharraf’s power and make him ineffective in order to persuade the president to finally resign of his own accord.

There is no question Sharif is using the long march to help him gain political victories in the upcoming elections. The old powerful Musharraf no longer exists. There is sense in Zardari’s approach of restoring old judges while allowing the new ones to remain for the present in order to avoid more turmoil in the nation. Pakistan has numerous problems that require attention without being distracted by the presence of Musharraf. He has already been condemned to the dustbin of history, let him slumber for a period. He will be gone within a year, but Pakistan must focus on its immediate needs.

Pakistan Coalition Leader On “War On Terror”

Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, a key person in the new coalition Cabinet, told John Negroponte, US Deputy Secretary of State, there was need for a complete review of how the “war on terror” should be conducted in his nation. He pointed out the situation has changed from one in which President Musharraf made unilaterial decisons because now a representative government is in place. He told the American his nation wants peace, but in achieving that goal, we do not seek to “turn our country into a murder house.”

There are reports many members of the coalition government want to initiate peace discussions with militants in the northwest region of their nation who presently are engaged in extensive fighting with government forces. If the new government enters into such discussions for a cease fire it might upset American forces in Afghanistan which seek to have the right of pursuing Taliban and al-Qaeda forces which freqeuntly obtain refuge in the northwest area.

Musharraf Opponents Threaten Boycott– Maybe, Maybe Not

The decision of President Musharraf to impose a state of emergency is the root cause of current uncertainty on the part of opposition parties regarding whether or not they should participate in the January election for a new parliament. Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, initially stated his intent to boycott the election on grounds it was being rigged by Musharraf. Now, that the All Parties Democratic Movement has decided to participate, Sharif has had a change of heart. “I will lead the fight in every corner of the country if the APDM and other parties decide to contest elections.” He told representatives from 14 Muslim nations that Musharraf is not allowing a free election which makes difficult participating in what he considers to be a fraud. However, since some parties will participate he intends to change his mind. Meanwhile, Benazir Butto, head of the Pakistan People’s Party indicated she would be a reluctant participant in what she claims is a fixed election.

There is no question President Musharraf has created uncertainty and he continues making it difficult for an honest election to occur. Perhaps, it is time for him to completely end the state of emergency, invite representatives from Arab nations and the UN to monitor the election, and shift the election from January to about March which would provide opponents more ample time to present their views to the nation.

Pakistan Election Still Unclear Say Musharraf Opponents

The political opponents of President Musharraf in Pakistan are still debating their course of action — participate in the January election or institute a boycott in protest against the unconstitutional actions by the president. Nawaz Sharif, who recently returned from exile to lead his party, said he had worked out any differences with Benazir Bhutto who heads the Pakistan People’s Party over what to do about participating in the election. He termed the election a “fraud” and charged Musharraf with having “murdered the judiciary” by his dismissal of the Supreme Court. Benazir Bhutto told representatives of Arab and other countries that she was holding open the option of boycotting the election. She told the American representative that creating a democratic Pakistan was the only way to fight “the plague of terrorism.” Bhutto intends to coordinate her electoral actions with her former enemy, Sharif.

The European Union is still undecided as to whether or not it will send observers to the Pakistan election. There is still a great deal of confusion regarding which parties will actually participate in an election that most objective observers regard as tainted by the actions of Musharraf to dismiss a Supreme Court and to impose a state of emergency.

Musharraf Bars Opponent From Ballot

President Musharraf has continually promised his nation and the world that a fair election would take place in January and that he would not hinder efforts by political opponents to engage in an open contest for votes. Nawaz Sharif, is a bitter enemy of Musharraf and was only reluctantly allowed to return to Pakistan from his exile. The Musharraf Election Commission has now banned Sharif’s name from appearing on the ballot on grounds that his past convictions made him ineligible to stand for office. Sharif and his former enemy, Benazir Bhutto have been exploring the possibility of boycotting the January election due to failure on the part of Musharraf to allow free elections.

Both Bhutto and Sharif returned to Pakistan with the full knowledge of Musharraf that past criminal charges were going to be dropped. It now appears Musharraf has gone back on his assurances. If Sharif is now banned, the same approach could be taken to Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People’s party, since she also was convicted years ago on criminal charges. In the volatile and confusing arena of Pakistan politics it is not unusual for individuals to be charged with some sort of crime. The nation of Pakistan expects leaders like Buhutto and Sharif to participate in the election, and this latest effort to quash their ability to run for office will mar the possibility of an honest election.