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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Court: Ex-leader can return to Pakistan

IMO, This is a significant move, and could be the beginning of the end for Musharraf.

By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 7 minutes ago

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a key rival to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, can return to Pakistan from exile under a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that dealt another setback to the embattled leader.

Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, another banished ex-premier, are vowing to return and lead a growing campaign to restore democracy, increasing the pressure on Musharraf to end eight years of military rule during which he has struggled to contain extremism.

Sharif and his family "have an inalienable right to enter and remain in the country as citizens of Pakistan," Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry said.

Their return should not be "hampered or obstructed" by the authorities, the court said.

Sharif hailed the ruling as "a victory for democracy and a defeat for dictatorship" and said he hoped to return "fairly soon."

Speaking at a London news conference that was broadcast on private Pakistani television stations, Sharif had harsh words for Musharraf, who ousted him in a bloodless 1999 coup and sent him into exile in Saudi Arabia.

"I don't believe in any power-sharing with Musharraf. He is a dictator. We are democrats," Sharif said. He predicted that the emboldened courts would block Musharraf's plan to continue as president.

In an interview with The Associated Press in London, Sharif said the U.S. must do more to promote democracy in Pakistan and shift its support away from Musharraf

"America must support Pakistan. It should not equate Pakistan with Musharraf, " he said. "It is being perceived America is supporting one man against 150 million people in Pakistan."

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a senior Cabinet minister and close Musharraf ally, acknowledged that the ruling would strengthen Musharraf's opponents.

"I was expecting it, and I think we have to accept the court verdict," he told The Associated Press.

Still, the court offered Sharif no protection against legal action threatened by the government or guarantees that he can take part in upcoming elections.

Outside the court, some 200 supporters of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party cheered and danced in celebration. One bearded activist slaughtered six goats as a celebratory act in front of the white marble court complex, leaving the road smeared in blood.

Ahsan Iqbal, a senior party official, said the verdict was a "major triumph for democracy and rule of law" and that Sharif would return "very soon."

"Gen. Musharraf must realize he is on the losing end," Iqbal said. "The sooner he realizes and resigns, the better it is for him."

In a question-and-answer session recorded before Thursday's verdict and shown later on state TV, Musharraf declined to say whether he would end his military role.

"I am aware of domestic and international concern on the issue of my uniform. But I want to say that I will follow the Constitution and law," he said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said that while Sharif's case was an issue for the Pakistani legal system, U.S. officials wanted "a strengthening of Pakistan's democratic traditions."

"We've made it clear that we want to see Pakistan succeed as a moderate, modern, democratic country, led by the choice of the Pakistani people," Gallegos said.

Musharraf, who ousted Sharif in 1999 after he tried to replace him as army chief, previously vowed to prevent the exiled former leaders from returning.

But with the United States urging stronger action against Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan, he has begun talking of the need for political reconciliation and for moderates to unite against extremism.

Musharraf and Bhutto are currently engaged in talks about a possible power-sharing deal that could help him gain a new five-year presidential term this fall.

The presidential vote, due by mid-October, is to be followed by year-end parliamentary elections, where the main opposition parties of Sharif and Bhutto hope to make gains.

Bhutto, who left Pakistan in 1999 to avoid arrest on corruption charges, insists Musharraf must give up his military post to win her party's support.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 01:27 PM
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thry are only going there to loot the economy and foreign exchange reserves mush and shortcut have accumulate in past 5 years

Fuel economy!! whats that??
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 03:03 PM
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Difficult for Westerners to understand all this

It makes me nervous too

Especially the part where it said the USA is supporting the PERSON
and not the COUNTRY

It was said that the worst blunders were made in Iran by the USA because it did not understand how the people felt, in their hearts

I think most Americans - and especially those in charge - have little or no understanding of these countries and how the people think that live inside them. It is difficult to deconstruct what is going on. Easy to think it is only a bunch of terrorists with towels on their heads

It would be good to hear from people like Designo_E320 because he seems to have a personal connection and insight there.

Very complicated but I hope I am wrong if it looks lie the USA puts ALL its eggs in one Pakistani basket.

Like everything depends on the heartbeat of one man.

It could be a redoubtable powerhouse of a nation but is hobbled by poverty, overpopulation and violent zealots.

The borders of Pakistan as a country hardly qualify as ancient

Even Punjabi could help out here

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Last edited by cascade; 08-23-2007 at 03:05 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 03:08 PM
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Foreign Affairs - A False Choice in Pakistan - Daniel Markey


"...pour out of one vessel into another; and as those old Romans robbed all the cities in the world, we skim the cream of other men's wits, pick the choice flowers of their tilled gardens to set our own sterile plots."
-a Richard Burton
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 05:19 PM
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heh, heh......I think Boss has hit the nail on the head! Ole Sharif's funding is running low, so let's get back into the Act to siphon that lovely$$$$$$ aid which the US has pumped into the current regime!heh, heh........
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2007, 05:50 PM
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Based on my recent business trip to Pakistan:

in the nation of 160 million you can easily gather a million or two to rally and express support for anyone. For the first time since independence, these people have come on terms with financial betterment. Cash is flowing, development is pouring and living standards are improving. If mush stays for another 5 years and leaves a heir to carry on his planning for next 10 years, the country can iron out lots of its blemishes and recover its reputation of "terrorist man power hub". Mush broke the cycle of political tit-tat and appointed a well qualified politically neutral man as prime minister.

Only a bunch of those who feel awarded during the regime of their lords like Nawaz and Benazir feel irritated by Mush because they simply cant escape on unpaid taxes and utility bills. Considering the current politics, Nawaz and Benazir will be total amateurs. Mush for the first time gave people a serious idea of government and administration. To place any of the politicians of past on the throne will waste of all his hard work and policies. Discontents the people and really destabilize the country. Corruption and text theft will becomes wide spread again, a legacy of all presidents from Bhutto family.

For those who have no idea about polling in Pakistan, well an average person doesn't give shit and enjoy the day off work on polling day and spends it sleeping. Those going vote operate in a mafia manner with centralized loyalties to certain figure. Hence the game of Nawaz and Benazir alternating for presidential throne.

The people of pakistan need and want Mush and acceding the country to someone else would just equal constitutional dictatorship. Its about time that US takes nose out of Pakistanis internal affairs and let them stabilize. Or be ready to brace another generation of hopeless youth blowing themselves all over the world.

Pre 9/11 Pakistan became a center of "Islamic Terror" not due to choice but because of need. The US sanctions against its nuke programs versus blind eye towards India provoked the people feeling into anti-American interest and government choose to turn a blind eye. It knew that at times of crises, it will best need these "Islamic fighters" in an Afghanistan like engagement.

They allege that recent deals between the Pakistani government and tribal elders in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan look suspiciously like capitulation to the Taliban, orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence agencies with ties to known extremists. They charge, in short, that Musharraf and his allies in Islamabad have taken billions of dollars in U.S. aid while doing too little to advance -- and, in many ways, much to undermine -- the fight against terrorism.
These tribal militants are integral part of society and to crack down against them equals civil wars. For those whose history lessons are as good as Bush, northern-frontier province is a semi-independent diplomatically integrated part of Pakistan. Also these unorganized militants serve ISI interest to keep tab on India. A part of them has deviated from the principle rules during taliban regime and therefore need to be brought back on track but their total elimination is a far fetched dream for USA as well Pakistan.

Fuel economy!! whats that??

Last edited by theboss; 08-23-2007 at 06:09 PM.
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