ISLAMABAD, Oct 11: MNA Dr Nafisa Shah, the chairperson of the PPP’s human rights committee, has invited nationalist parties of Sindh to a dialogue to resolve issues related to local government system in the province.
She suggested at a news conference that the nationalist parties should organise a conference “of all parties” to resolve the differences. She claimed that the recent attacks on the homes of the speaker of Sindh Assembly, ministers, MPAs and on Malala Yousufzai in Swat were linked.
Ms Shah, whose rally was attacked by gunmen in Khairpur a few days ago, said she believed that the attackers were part of a larger plan to attack moderation, federalism and a progressive Pakistan which the PPP was striving to build.
“The masterminds of these attacks want to divide Pakistan on ethnic and sectarian lines and push back the country to dark ages by attacking political and social rights and freedoms.”
Ms Shah said President Asif Ali Zardari was fol..... Read More
The writer is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a political economist.
A central theme of a series of articles written by me from 2008 onwards has been “why since 1973 onwards, Pakistan has failed to ensure stability in Afghanistan despite repeated diplomatic interventions and Taliban government pre-9/11.” The conclusion: instability in Afghanistan and some parts of Pakistan is essential to the calculus of checkmating Pakistan’s rise as a nuclear power. Bad governance is a catalyst to instability.
My assessments were the same in the 90s when a conflict appeared imminent within a decade. Pakistan continued to be sucked into a conflict in denial; and failed to contain the runaway factions of militants that it had created. It also chose to become an ally in the war on terror without taking cognisance of the societal spin-offs. The lethal brew is now on the boil.
The time from 2000-2007 was crucial to building Pakistan’s image as a responsible country at p..... Read More
Teheran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed complete solidarity with the Government and people of Pakistan and stated “Enemy of Pakistan will be considered as Enemy of Iran”. “Iran share a long history of friendship with Pakistan and enjoy common history, Religious and cultural values Iranian people will stand to support Pakistan in all times to come,” he said in meeting with Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Federal Minster for Regulation & Services along with Religious Scholar Khanam Tayyaba Bokhari who called on him in Tehran.
The President discussed wide range of issues with the Minister that included Economic, Social/cultural/Relegious and Reproductive Health. The Meeting lasted over an hour in which President directed the cultural Minister for Preparing an offical document for supporting Iqbal cultural centre Sailkot. The President directed Iranian Health Minister to foster further relation in the field of Pharmaceutical production and maki..... Read More
WASHINGTON, March 26: The United States will wait for a request from Pakistan on its needs for nuclear technology and energy before deciding if it can accept the Pakistani demand, a US official said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged the international community to give Pakistan access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses on a non-discriminatory basis.
“I don’t know whether we’ve had discussions in the past about these issues, but we would obviously await a request and then see what makes sense,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said when asked to comment on the prime minister’s statement.
“We obviously have a rich dialogue with Pakistan about its energy needs,” she told a daily news briefing at the State Department.
Prime Minister Gilani meets US President Barack Obama in Seoul on Tuesday for talks aimed at jump starting a crucial relationship which has deteriorated rapidly in..... Read More
Afghanistan continues to lurch from one crisis to another. The ongoing talks between the United States and the Taliban had given rise to expectations that this could lead to formal peace negotiations to end the long-running Afghan conflict. However, the burning of the Holy Quran by members of the Nato forces at the huge US airbase at Bagram on February 21 has destroyed those hopes and changed the scenario from one of promise to utmost concern about the future.
The incident, whether intentional as the Taliban and most Afghans believe or unintentional as US President Barack Obama insisted in his letter of apology to his Afghan counterpart President Hamid Karzai, caused outrage in Afghanistan and triggered massive anti-western protests. It inserted a new element of uncertainty into the situation and there is now real concern whether the Afghans who are part of the Karzai Administration and security forces and their western allies could trust each other. Their relations were never c..... Read More
WASHINGTON: If all goes as hoped, US and Qatari negotiators will meet soon to nail down final details for transferring Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo prison – a momentous step for President Barack Obama, the Afghan war and perhaps US foreign policy as well.
Should US, Afghan and Qatari officials reach agreement, the Obama administration’s careful diplomatic choreography then calls for the Afghan Taliban to open an office in Qatar to conduct peace talks with the Western-backed Afghan government.
The Taliban would be expected to make a statement condemning international terrorism.
And at some point – exactly when is unclear – the United States would start sending the first of five senior Taliban members it has held for a decade to Qatar.
On the way to the first-ever peace negotiations to end the long and bloody Afghan war, much could go wrong – indeed much already has. The peace talks have been beset by fits and starts, and U-turn..... Read More
LAHORE: The United States is seriously contemplating to abandon Pakistan as a major supply route to Afghanistan unless the blockade on provisions to the US-led coalition forces is ended.
According to well-informed government circles, Pakistan has already turned down a US request to allow crucial food and military hardware to transit to the neighbouring Afghanistan, unless it receives a formal apology and sees stern action taken against those responsible for the deadly cross border air strike by Nato helicopters on November 26.
Both the check posts had been recently set up to stop the Taliban militants holed up in Afghanistan from crossing over the border and staging attacks in Pakistan. The Salala security posts are located in the Taliban-controlled Baizai area of Mohmand tribal agency, which is a known transit point and safe haven for two key commanders of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan — Faqir Mohammad and Mullah Fazlullah.
Significantly, the Na..... Read More
Nato operations in Afghanistan have been thrown into disarray following Saturday’s deaths. The US and allied commanders say they are investigating how the tragedy occurred. Both sides are making claims and counter-claims.
Claim 1: US and Afghan commandos say they came under fire from inside Pakistan. The resulting air strikes killed 24 soldiers, and injured 13. Nato says they were a regrettable mistake.
Counter-claim: Pakistan says the attack was unprovoked. The air and helicopter strikes were a catastrophic blunder, both military and diplomatic.
Claim 2: Nato says the incident happened when a mainly Afghan force was conducting an operation in the southern Kunar province. Someone fired on them, it says.
Counter-claim: The Pakistani military says this is rubbish. The assault was premeditated, “irresponsible” and deliberate against two mountain outposts known to Nato and US forces. The soldiers were 300 metres inside Pakistan, in the Mohmand ..... Read More
ISLAMABAD: General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been dealt out another ace. President Asif Ali Zardari is left with no option but to wear defiance only to follow up the facade of defiance with damage control.
Who drafted the memo? That matter seems to be in the final stage of being settled for good. Who actually authorized its delivery? Prima facie it has to be the drafter’s “boss” but that link hasn’t yet been established beyond reasonable doubt.
PPP’s best-case scenario is the single-casualty-scapegoat-model in which the drafter falls without triggering a domino effect. According to Shaheen Sehbai and Mohammad Malick, DG-ISI met Mansoor Ijaz on October 22 for four hours during which “Mansoor Ijaz was exhaustively grilled over his claims and that Mansoor handed a fairly large quantity of records, both copies and originals. The records were subsequently put through a verification process and once the DG-ISI was convinced about their authenticity, ..... Read More
By Abdul Manan & Shamsul Islam in The Express Tribune, Nov 21
FAISALABAD: The forlorn opposition appears to have finally found the government’s choking point.
Addressing over 20,000 at a rally in the Dhobi Ghat Ground of Faisalabad on Sunday, PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif demanded that an independent inquiry commission be formed “within a day or two” to investigate claims that the government sought US support to take action against its own military and intelligence services.
Failing this, the party will converge “from all provinces” in Islamabad where a petition would be filed with the Supreme Court, Sharif warned.
He said he would not stand by idle when “the country’s sovereignty is being sold and self respect compromised.”
One clear message that emerged from the otherwise chaotic rally was that the party would focus on memogate to bring the government to its knees.
In a speech that ended in couplets from ..... Read More