Tags:
  1. Lycos
    Offline

    Lycos Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    1

    Pakistan leader calls for January polls

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lycos, Nov 11, 2007.

    Taken from the news about Pakistan.

    Pakistan - President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Sunday that Pakistan will stick to its January schedule for parliamentary elections but he set no time limit on emergency rule, raising grave doubts about whether the crucial vote can be free and fair.

    Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, speaking two days after she was briefly put under house arrest, said the schedule for elections was "a first positive step," but with an emergency in place, it would be "difficult" to campaign.

    Other opposition parties said Musharraf's sweeping powers, which have already led to thousands of arrests and a ban on rallies, would make a mockery of the democratic process.

    The attorney-general also announced Sunday that military courts could now try civilians on charges ranging from treason to inciting public unrest. A leading Pakistani rights activist, currently under house arrest, said it showed the U.S.-backed general had imposed martial law.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice welcomed Musharraf's pledge to hold elections by Jan. 9 but expressed concern that he had not set a time limit for restoring citizens' rights.

    "It's not a perfect situation," Rice said.

    Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, appeared defiant but bitter at rising criticism of his decision to suspend the constitution a week ago, a step he says was necessary to combat rising Islamic militancy that had sown "turmoil, shock and confusion" in Pakistan.

    "It was the most difficult decision I have ever taken in my life," Musharraf told his first news conference since declaring the emergency Nov. 3.

    "I could have preserved myself, but then it would have damaged the nation. I found myself between a rock and a hard surface. I have no personal ego and ambitions to guard. I have the national interest foremost," he said, sitting on a dais at the grand presidential palace in Islamabad.

    He voiced anger over the "aspersions" cast on his commitment to fighting Taliban and al-Qaida militants, and his commitment to democracy.

    His defense is unlikely to dispel suspicions shared by many in Pakistan that the emergency — launched ahead of a Supreme Court ruling that could have nixed his plans to serve another five-year term — was motivated by his own determination to stay in power.

    Musharraf justified the dismissal of independent-minded Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and many of his Supreme Court colleagues — who have emerged this year as the only real check on his power — as necessary for the government to function smoothly and fight terrorism.

    He also claimed the emergency, under which he has blacked out independent TV networks and suspending many civil rights, was essential for ensuring "absolutely fair and transparent elections."

    He declared the current parliament would be dissolved in the coming week, and that Pakistan would invite international observers to scrutinize the vote.

    The United States and other key Western allies, who value Musharraf's support in fighting Taliban and al-Qaida, have pushed him to hold the elections on time, amid concerns they could have been pushed back by one year. But they could be worried by his refusal to commit to a date for lifting the emergency.

    "The emergency contributes towards better law and order and a better fight against terrorism, and, therefore, all I can say is I do understand the emergency has to be lifted, but I cannot give a date for it," Musharraf said.

    That drew sharp criticism from opposition parties.

    "How can the elections be held in a free and fair manner when the emergency is in place?" asked Zafar Ali Shah, a senior leader of the opposition party of Nawaz Sharif, the now-exiled prime minister Musharraf ousted in his coup eight years ago.

    Ameer ul-Azeem, spokesman for a coalition of hardline opposition parties allied to Sharif, said leaders of the alliance would meet soon to consider a boycott and would appeal to Bhutto to join them to ensure the restoration of democracy and the constitution.

    But Bhutto, who held months of talks with Musharraf on hatching a possible postelection alliance to fight religious extremism, sounded surprisingly conciliatory toward the military leader — just two days after she was placed under house arrest for a day to block her from addressing a political rally.

    She welcomed Musharraf's announcement of a timeline for the vote as a "first positive step" while noting that holding it under a state of emergency would be "difficult."

    She said Musharraf was sending mixed messages by announcing an election date while also giving new powers to military courts to try civilians, which she saw as a backward step for democracy. But she added that she had "not shut the door for talks" with the president.

    Earlier, Attorney General Malik Mohammed Qayyum said the Pakistan Army Act had been amended to allow military courts to try people accused of treason, sedition, or "giving statements conducive to public mischief." That will add to concerns that the judiciary's ability to check the power of the executive or security services has been severely compromised through Musharraf's purging of the top ranks of the judiciary.

    Musharraf said opposition supporters who had been rounded up since the emergency would be released to take part in the polls, but warned they could be detained again. Anyone who "disturbs law and order and wants to create anarchy in the name of elections and democracy, we will not allow that," he said.

    Musharraf also declared he would give up his army uniform, but only once his controversial Oct. 6 presidential election victory had been endorsed — regarded by many observers as a formality now that he has remade the Supreme Court and ousted popular judges.

    "The moment they give a decision ... I should take an oath of office as civilian president of Pakistan. I hope that happens as soon as possible."

    Musharraf said there was no chance that any of the Supreme Court judges who were removed or refused to take the oath of office under his "provisional" constitution would be reinstated.

    On the streets of Islamabad, few seem persuaded that Musharraf, whose popularity has plummeted this year, wanted to restore democracy.

    "I think the emergency will never go and he will never go," said takeout restaurant owner Musharraf Hussain, 32. "He will be the president and chief of army staff and democracy will not come until he leaves this universe."
     
  2. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    This strikes me as a bit desperate to be honest. He's losing his grip on the country, and is trying anything he can to stay in power. The next stage being, naturally, a military dictatorship. He won't get away with it though, because the whole of the world is watching, and he knows that they won't simply let he do as he likes.

    Though, actually, Bush said something surprisingly intelligent to him about it: "You can't be president, and head of the military". Which I suppose is a bit hypocritical, since that's what Bush is...
     
  3. Domoviye
    Offline

    Domoviye Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    Banzai, Mushareef already is a military dictator. The only stage he can go to next is democratically elected leader, or failed dictator. And right now too many groups in Pakistan are upset with him for him to remain military dictator safely.
    Also with Bush being President, and head of the military is written into the constitution, and it's worked for the US for 200+ years.
     
  4. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Well...even if he goes Benazir or some other fraud comes into scene. A worse situation, not better.
     
  5. Kit
    Offline

    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Dom, although it has worked for 200+ for the US it was still hypocritical for Bush to say that Musharraf can't do the same, in my opinion. Even if he's right lol.

    I kind of agree with anthraxx, because no matter what happens nothing will be perfect. There will always be some kind of problem/situation to complain about.
     
  6. Domoviye
    Offline

    Domoviye Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    Well the difference is, Pakistan has a different type of constitution, and doesn't allow it. Also Musharraf actively took over the country using the military, so he's not exactly legitimate.
     
  7. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Domoviye's right. By constitution the army cannot rule the country. Which, is exactly what Mushy is doing. And this is because Quaid said to the Civil Services:
    'You are the servants of the country.'
    Army cannot 'rule' the country. It has to protect it, and the role of the army is to only protect the country as the people demand. The country is supposed to be run on the civil will, which has never really happened.
     
  8. Domoviye
    Offline

    Domoviye Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    Here's a blog with some of the latest news from Musharraf, and the bloggers take on it. (Please note this website is one of the best known and highly respected political blogs in America)
    Captain's Quarters
     
  9. PrincessGarnet
    Offline

    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    St Andrews, Scotland
    Well he does have the backing of the US and the UK
     
  10. Lycos
    Offline

    Lycos Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    1
    And More from the news.


    LAHORE, Pakistan Held under house arrest behind barbed wire, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto called on Tuesday for military leader Pervez Musharraf to quit as president, isolating him in the run-up to a general election.

    Britain stepped up international pressure on Musharraf, who imposed emergency rule on November 3 in a move seen aimed at clinging on to power, backing a 10-day Commonwealth ultimatum for him to end the emergency and quit as army chief.

    Bhutto has long called for Musharraf to step down as army chief and become a civilian president but it was the first time she had called for him to quit as president altogether -- a move analysts say could sound the death knell for U.S. hopes the pair could end up sharing power.

    She also said she would not serve as prime minister under him and her party might boycott general elections Musharraf has promised to hold by January 9.

    "It is time for him to go. He must quit as president," Bhutto, who has for months held power-sharing negotiations with Musharraf, told Reuters in a telephone interview as police bundled small clusters of her protesting supporters into vans.

    She was speaking in the city of Lahore where she was placed under house arrest for a week, hours before a planned protest motorcade procession to Islamabad against emergency rule was stifled as 20,000 police locked down the area.

    Musharraf set off a storm of criticism when he imposed the emergency, suspended the constitution, sacked judges, locked up lawyers, rounded up thousands of activists and curbed the media.

    The crisis has raised fears about stability in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally and concern about its ability to focus on battling growing Islamist militancy.

    Bhutto's party said 1,500 activists had been detained to thwart the "long march" motorcade from Lahore to Islamabad.

    Dozens of supporters turned out to protest at a barrier around 1 km (half a mile) from where Bhutto is being held, and police quickly detained most of them. A car was set alight nearby, but there was no major violence in Lahore.

    Unidentified gunmen opened fire on two police stations in Karachi while Bhutto's supporters were protesting against her detention but no one was hurt. In Peshawar, police used teargas and batons to disperse protesters.

    Pakistani shares ended slightly down in thin trade as nervous investors waited on the sidelines, dealers said.

    "CONTAMINATED"

    Bhutto said Musharraf appeared "out of his depth" and had "lost all credibility". "I will not serve as prime minister as long as Musharraf is president," she said.

    "Negotiations between us have broken down over the massive use of police force ... There's no question now of getting this back on track because anyone who is associated with General Musharraf gets contaminated."

    A spokesman for Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup and whom the U.S. has backed as a valuable ally in the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban, declined to comment.

    The general has seen his popularity slide since he tried to sack the chief justice in March, sparking protests by outraged lawyers who also took their campaign on the road with processions to Lahore and other towns across the country.

    Bhutto was dogged by accusations of corruption during her two terms as prime minister but her party is Pakistan's biggest and has the capacity to mobilise huge crowds.

    PRESSURE

    Musharraf has come under growing pressure from Western allies to set Pakistan back on a path to democracy. He has declined to say when the constitution would be restored and said the emergency would ensure a fair vote.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. President George W. Bush both urged Musharraf on Monday to lift the emergency.

    The Commonwealth gave him until November 22 to end emergency rule and quit the army or face suspension, a call endorsed by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

    Pakistan, expelled by the Commonwealth after Musharraf's coup but let back in 2004, rejected it. The Foreign Ministry said it reflected ignorance of realties and challenges facing the state.

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who last week warned against cutting aid to an "indispensable" security ally, is due in Pakistan later this week on a long-planned visit.

    Musharraf has justified the emergency by saying a meddling judiciary was hampering the battle against militants. Diplomats say he wanted to stop the Supreme Court from ruling as invalid his October 6 election by loyalist legislators.

    Musharraf has said he would step down as army chief and become a civilian president as soon as the Supreme Court, where new judges seen as friendly to the government have been appointed, ruled on challenges to his election.
     
  11. ANT (Bar YOSEF)
    Offline

    ANT (Bar YOSEF) Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    This all comes back to the Partition 60 years ago. We ,the British, pulled out of India to soon and hastily divided India and Pakistan. All problems lead from this and here it is, 60 years later still unresolved- dictatorship in Pakistan and conflict over Kashmir.
     
  12. Domoviye
    Offline

    Domoviye Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    But if Britain hadn't pulled out as quickly as it did, it probably would have led to a nasty war between the Britain, and Indian's and Pakistani's that wanted independence.
    Also Kashmir would be a problem no matter what, both countries want it, and enough Kashmir's want independence that no one is ever going to be happy with how it turns out.
     
  13. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Britain was a bit too fast. But Domoviye is true - this speed was for the better. The Kashmir issue can be referred to Lord Mountabatten who did not give Gurdaspur to Pakistan despite it being a Muslim majority. If this had been given to Pakistan, Kashmir would not have been sharing a border with India and the problem may not have erupted. However, in my country they say:
    'Taali do haath say bajti hai.'
    Which means: 'Clapping requires two hands.' So it wasn't only him, it is the unmoving PK and IN which just won't give in. I think Kashmir should become an independent state, but for that some major funds and strong authority is needed which is almost impossible at the moment.
     
  14. ANT (Bar YOSEF)
    Offline

    ANT (Bar YOSEF) Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    That is true- look what happened when britain partitoned, or tried to partition another country in 1948!!!!!!
     
  15. PrincessGarnet
    Offline

    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    St Andrews, Scotland
    What evidence do you have that all problems lead from this? I'm not clued up on the story but i thought this was an internal Pakistan problem.
     
  16. ANT (Bar YOSEF)
    Offline

    ANT (Bar YOSEF) Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    This is because eversince there have been more military dictators than democratic leaders in Pakistan.
     
  17. ANT (Bar YOSEF)
    Offline

    ANT (Bar YOSEF) Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Pakistan's poiltical system was rushed to accomadate for the rushed British withdrawl and partiton.
     
  18. PrincessGarnet
    Offline

    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    St Andrews, Scotland
    so 60 years have passed and during that time they have had no influence over the direction of their country?
     
  19. lordofhats
    Offline

    lordofhats Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Hat Cave
    The age of European colonization had a disasterous aftermath. Most of the problems faced by governments in Africa and Southeast Asia (And probably Pakistan) can be attributed to the colonization of these areas by european nations. It wasn't much of a problem while the european nations were there it was after they left that trouble started.

    Colonization halted all political progress by the local peoples. After the european nations left following WWII and again in the 50's, 60's, and 70's things started falling apart. For well over a hundred years these colonized nations had little say in how their country's were governed and when european leaders left they lacked experienced political leaders.

    Obviously in such a situation the effect is military dictatorship. He with the most bullets wins. The state of the colonized nations is in turmoil because the European nations left without establishing an effective governmental infurstructure that their former colonies could use. India is the only one I can think of off the top of my head that avoided the dictatorship pitfall (Thanks to the work of men like Mahatma Gandhi).

    This is what I learn in my Western Civilizations class for three hours a day...
     
  20. PrincessGarnet
    Offline

    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    St Andrews, Scotland
    I never said it didn't have an affect. But you can't blame colonization for everything that goes wrong with a previously colonized country, or for the choices that a corrupt leader makes. There has to be a point where you give the nation credit for its own decisions. Mugabe uses the excuse of colonisation all the time for his failings, but when British rule was given up in 1980, it was one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.

    Also there was no established democracy in Africa when the European nations entered.

    In the case of Africa, most Europeans did try to establish a liberal democracy government, but because they left it too late and along with being rushed out by the educated Africans who were desperate for their countries independence, many were overthrown - likely because the democracies weren't stabilsed, and the people had become accustomed to a political culture of authoritarianism. However, Kenya,...(and i think 3 others??) still have these structures in place and have developed them to this day. Also, in the 1990s there were quite a lot of African countries which became multiparty democracies.

    Anyway could go on and on, but the point I am making is that yes colonisation affected the countries (the entire map of Africa was drawn up in Germany), but there is a reason why, for example, HIV rates fell in Uganda in the 1990s and rose greatly in South Africa, and it has nothing to do with previous British rule, it's leadership, civil society and government policy.

    -sorry to use only African examples, not studied other colonies.
     
  21. lordofhats
    Offline

    lordofhats Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Hat Cave
    I agree Princess. I never said all the probems were caused by colonization I said "Most of the problems faced by governments in Africa and Southeast Asia (And probably Pakistan) can be attributed to the colonization of these areas by european nations."

    A better way to say what I meant could have been by replacing "attributed" with "connected" or "contributed." The local cultures in many of the previously colonized nations did contribute to the problem, or in the case of nations like South Africa and India, halted the problem. Most of the nations in the greatest turmoil happen to be the ones with the widest ethnic diversities. That can be attrubited to failures of the respective governments to create a feeling of national unity.

    I don't know if thats the case in Pakistan. I'd bet that the US war in Afganistan is having some contributing factor to the problems. I never paid much attention to Pakistan prior to this crises. I was wondering if what President Musharraf is saying about insugents causing turmoil is true, made up, or if he is just blowing it out of proportion?
     
  22. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Ask someone who lives there, and knows a relative of that ____ personally.
    He's lying. Evidence? Because there are no terrorists. The bombings are by well-known people, they work for the government. And Mushy has been lying too long to be trusted now. Yes, he's better than Benazir but not good enough.
    Pakistan has been affected by colonization, especially since Muslims were always deprived of development, but the major fault lies in the goodwill of the leaders and the people. Quaid overcame much of the issues while he lived concerning colonization - but the people could not develop a high moral character which is till date a crucial problem.
     

Share This Page