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Posts tagged with: Nawaz Sharif

Musharraf’s Economic Deception – Part 1

Guest Post by Dr. Tariq Naeem

General Musharraf took over the reigns of power in 1999 from Nawaz Sharif with the Pakistan economy on the verge of bankruptcy. So desperate was the situation Nawaz Sharif toured the world visiting Pakistanis with a begging bowl requesting them to invest in Pakistan due to the sanctions imposed on Pakistan for carrying out nuclear tests. Incoherent, short-term policies had resulted in a minority of people benefiting immensely, who incidentally were directly linked to the Sharif family.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have consistently praised the Musharraf government for solid macroeconomic recovery and saving the Pakistan economy from the brink of economic collapse. They cite the $128bn generated under his tenure. Many commentators are eager to explain that the Musharraf government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since taking over the economy in 1999. The argument of the few Musharraf loyalists being that he has brought a degree of stability to Pakistan that the country never knew under civilian rule.

Part 1 of this two part series will assess this claim and analyse the current state of Pakistan’s economy which shows it is in a far more precarious position:
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Pakistani Election Commission bars Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan’s Election Commission Monday barred former prime minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif from a January 8 general election because of past criminal convictions. “His nomination papers are rejected because of his convictions, presiding election official Raja Qamaruzaman told Reuters in Lahore.

Its interesting to note that Mr. Nawaz Sharif in his hate to get out of the country after his govt was toppled in 1999, never appealed lower court decision against him, instead opted to get a pardon from the President. So the conviction stands, and even if the Election Commission had accepted his papers, that action would have been challenged in the court by his competitors. Hence, until the rules are amended, Mr. Sharif would have to sit this one out.

All this while Benazir Bhutto continues to hide behind the protections provided to her by the NRO which were added on to the PCO allowing her full protection to contest the elections. Free and Fair… Yeah Right…

PML-N to reverse boycott decision soon

There are reports coming in from a number of news agencies that PML-N will very soon reverse their decision to boycott and succumb to the demands of their party stalwarts and contest the election. I truly feel that contesting the elections will only provide Musharraf with even more legitimacy to continue his reign on this country, he conveniently screwed up the Judiciary to pave his way to another term as the President of Pakistan, he claims to be holding free and fair elections but sadly how can anyone fall for this fib when the entire electoral process is being orchestrated under a Martial Law.

Recently Shahbaz Sharif’s papers were rejected by the returning officer but at the same time the other corrupt leader, Benazir Bhutto, continues fighting under the protection of the NRO standing to be vindicated of all her wrong doings as long as the PCO is promulgated into the constitution of Pakistan, which would effectively wash her slate clean of any wrong doings of corruption. One cannot expect PPP or MQM to work towards an independent judiciary, the PML-Q being the Kings party will not dare to call the foul while Nawaz Sharif has his balls squarely stuck in the grasp of the Saudi King and most importantly playing into the hands of Musharraf to dare utter a squeak. Sad but I see Pakistan headed into yet another sham assembly only to appease one dictators wish to rule a country

Nadeem Syed and Abrar SaeedLAHORE/ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has decided to end the boycott of the forthcoming elections and a formal announcement in this regard would be made in next few days. Highly-placed sources in the party disclosed to TheNation in Islamabad Sunday that the decision to take part in the forthcoming elections was made by Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, in consultation with close associates, bowing to the tremendous pressure of the party leaders, mostly in favour of taking part in the elections.
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Shahbaz Sharif’s nomination papers rejected

The Returning Officer Ashtar Abbas rejected the nomination papers Mian Shahbaz Sharif for one National Assembly (NA 119) seat and two Provincial Assembly (PP 141 and PP 142) seats. Tariq Badaruddin Banday, a candidate from NA 119 filed objection against nomination papers of Shahbaz Sharif that the brother of Nawaz Sharif was a bank defaulter. He submitted documents showing Shahbaz a defaulter of Rs 12 million. It must be noted that the nomination papers of Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz have already been accepted for above mentioned three constituencies.

While unsurprisingly the papers of Benazir Bhutto who has twice been thrown out of power because of corruption still stands to contest in the elections. Free and Fair, yeah right

Boycott Elections Campaign – PML-N & PPP leadership contacts

On a number of mailing lists there is a extensive list being circulated which has the contact numbers of a number of top PML-N Leadership and their contact details. It can be found at Thought Stream, the best way to get their attention is to send an SMS to their cell phone numbers or better yet call them up (if they pick it up that is) and give them your opinion, be courteous and simply convey your message as briefly as possible, remember the might not listen to you for long before hanging up on you, my SMS to them yesterday and today simply read

The People of Pakistan urge you to please boycott the elections and not be a rubber stamp for Musharraf. Please make the right decision. Pakistan Zindabad

I suspect little do they know about electronic campaigning and hope our efforts have born fruits, inside sources say the PML and PPP leadership has been getting the messages and it has been influencing the discussion. Today’s APDM meeting is at 3:00pm lets keep our fingers crossed. As the PML-N has fully authorized Nawaz Sharif to make the entire decision on behalf of the party.

The PML-N and PPP list is temporarily included here pm this blog for about 24 hours and after which it shall be removed to protect their privacy my intention here is to only coordinate a pressure group which may influence their decision
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Nawaz Sharif’s Return and the Boycott Dilemma

Its all over the media that Nawaz Shairf has finally landed in Lahore after some serious arm bending negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Musharraf (mind you I use Musharraf as Pakistan does not figure anywhere in this equation). It was basically orchestrated to level the playing field as Benazir was apparently acting too erratic in the recent past that Musharraf could not swallow a PPP electoral sweep which could potentially hold him hostage after the elections. This move is yet another ploy which will favor Musharraf in the five years to come, as he then has more pawns to play with rather then be stuck with a Lotta-Queen Benazir Bhutto.

It so seems that all the moves are being played by Musharraf from day one to the extent that he calls a ‘check’ every time expecting a predictable reaction from the opposition which quite often is forced to respond predictably and according to the plan. Yesterdays apparent announcement by Raja Zafar ul Haq from the APDM platform to boycott the forthcoming sham elections was a brilliant move as it actually meant that the opposition was not suckered into the pre=planned circus of elections, an apparent unified opposition boycott can throw the legitimacy of the elections out the window, yes it may severely impact the voice of the opposition as the would sit on the sidelines while the sham rulers will make legislatures at their free will, but then again how could one seriously believe in a so called elections governed by a slave judiciary and a severely compromised Election Commissioner sworn in by Musharraf himself, its highly unlikely that any one of the critical postions would resist in validating the elections as free and fair
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Its time for street protests : Imran Khan

Published in DAWN on November 13th
By Shehar Bano Khan

Looking defiant and all set to mobilise students on the streets on Wednesday (tomorrow) against Gen Musharrafs emergency rule, Pakistan Tereek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan lashes out at the Washington plan of installing its dream team of moderates.

Dismissing the election formula for being devised and dictated by the US administration, Mr Khan proclaims the students march will be the most momentous since the independence movement.

“It is going to be the most important movement since the movement for the independence of this country. Our theme is the restoration of the pre-emergency judiciary. Our party has been carefully planning this movement and we feel now the time is right to come out on to the streets to protest against the Provisional Constitutional Order, and reject the holding of elections under emergency. How can elections be held when the country has been put under emergency, when theres suspension of fundamental rights, no recourse to justice and rampant rule of the jungle? blitzes Mr Khan.
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Update @ 0503: Free and Fair Election Network on Elections Under Emergency – An Oxymoron

Via e-mail from the Thematic Group Coordinator — Afreina Noor, at the FAFEN’s (Free and Fair Election Network) Secretariat in Islamabad, who sent in the text of their position paper on Elections Under Emergency – An Oxymoron. FAFEN is a coalition of thirty leading Pakistani civil society organizations and was established in 2006 to observe the election process, educate voters, and advocate for electoral and democratic reform, FAFEN has also announced that they are considering the possibility its election observation of the conditions they have outlined are not met given the currently situation in Pakistan:

Elections under a “state of emergency” run contrary to best election practices around the world. Elections are not sufficient condition to democracy. They must be held in an environment that provides a level playing field to all contenders and enables the will of people to be expressed through the vote without any pressure. The fact that elections will be held under the state of emergency raises serious concerns about the fairness of the electoral process.

As a result of the imposition of the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, Pakistan lacks conditions that are a prerequisite for a free election. The independence of judiciary has been compromised. Fundamental rights of people continue to be suspended. Political activities are banned. Citizens and civil society activists are arrested by security and intelligence agencies. Media is controlled by new laws to restrict its ability to give unbiased information to people.

Rights to assembly, association, expression and movement are fundamental to a free election. Any election that is held without citizens and political contenders enjoying these rights cannot be fully free and fair.

Continue reading “Update @ 0503: Free and Fair Election Network on Elections Under Emergency – An Oxymoron” »

Update @ 0942: National Party’s General Secretary is targeted by Pakistani Government

Via e-mail from Umar Farooq with the People’s Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens:

Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, General Secretary National Party, was sent on judicial remand to Landhi District Jail on November 8, 2007. Since hen no one has been allowed to meet with him. On November 10, 2007. Mr. Bizenjo’s Lawyer Arif Khan, Central Information Secretary National Party, Mr. Jan Mohammad Buledi, and Umar Farooq of People’s Resistance tried to visit him in the jail. They were informed that there are strict orders from authorities to not let anybody visit Mr. Bizenjo. They were also told that the visitation ban seems to be indefinite.

Its feared that Mr. Biznjo is being held in Solitary Confinment in the jail. Mr. Bizenjo is the first politician who is being charged with sedition that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It seems that the government is targeting Mr. Bizenjo because he enjoys very good relationship with both Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Nawaz Sharif. In fact last week Ms. Benazir Bhutto asked him personally to act as an intermediary between her and Mr. Nawaz sharif. Mr. Bizenjo was trying to bring all the political parties and civil society groups together to work towards the common goal of the restoration of Independent Judiciary and repeal of the Martial Law.

Update @ 0015: Shahbaz Sharif urges students – rally peacefully

I have just got off the phone with Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother in the UK — Shahbaz Sharif, who gave out important advice for students and asked for the following message to be sent out to all students in Pakistan and overseas who are attending rallies, that they must remain peaceful and keep rallies non-violent:

I am going to stress that it is essential for students to rally peacefully and avoid confrontations at all costs and as much as possible with armed forces and police who may provoke demonstrators. Educate your fellow students on demonstrating peacefully at rallies on university campuses and surrounding areas across the country as this is essential. I also encourage all students to wear black arm bands in classes and at all college and student-organized events until this martial law has been lifted.
When I asked Shahbaz, how students can engage with him directly in an open dialogue and discussions to end martial law in Pakistan and bring back peace to the country using democratic non-violent means, he SMS-ed his personal e-mail addresses, requesting that all those interested can get in touch with him on littlemaster20032001 @ yahoo.com

Does Musharraf face risk of a coup?

Lt Gen KianiEarly today morning there were strong rumors throughout he country that the junior squadron of Army leadership had turned onto Musharraf and had him under house arrest, the rumor fizzled out to be smoke and Musharraf went on record to state that this was ‘a joke of the highest degree’ An interesting article by BBC helps us understand the loyalty within the army and it might be difficult to expect something from within, my personal gut feeling is that such a resistance will only happen if Musharraf faces a strong public revolt, which he has managed to control till today, with a massive revolt someone might sum up the courage to turn against him, but it wont happen for another 20-30 days

By M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was forced to dismiss rumours circulating on Monday that he had been placed under house arrest, just two days after he declared emergency rule. As things stand, there is little reason to believe that Gen Musharraf, who is both president and head of the army, is in imminent danger of being removed from office by force. There are only two groups of people who would appear to have the capacity to move against Gen Musharraf and arrest him. One is his immediate subordinates in the army, including the heads of the intelligence services. The other is the corps commanders who constitute the second tier of the leadership of the military. Gen Musharraf’s position depends on the personal loyalty to him of those who serve him and also the institutional loyalty of military men to their chief. On both counts, the odds looked stacked well in favour of Gen Musharraf.
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Update @ 0244: Geo TV’s website back online

Geo TV is now back online and have posted an announcement on their homepage stating that due to enormously heavy traffic on their website, they are presenting a light text-version with latest news updates while the full version of the website will be available in a few hours. A summary of the main points of Musharraf’s speech have been extracted and is available in English here and in Urdu as well.

The metroblogging team in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have been doing a great job with posting updates of happenings on the ground while a little over an hour after Musharraf began delivering his address to the nation, Umar, blogs that apart from police patrolling the streets, the situation on the ground is peace and hopes it remains that way.

During her press briefing with the media, a few minutes after she landed in Karachi, Benazir Bhutto appealed that the world community should pressurize Musharraf to lift the emergency with Canada officially stepping up the pressure on Pakistan for the removal of the state of emergency (via Edmonton Sun) Meanwhile Nawaz Sharif who spoke to Al Jazeera News via phone from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia agreed with Bhutto and stressed that this was not a state of emergency but rather marital law which has destroyed the Supreme Court with Bhutto emphasizing that the “people of Pakistan, are capable of defending the country”.

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Telling it as it is to America

An article appeared in The News on October 23 narrating the discussion that took place in the meeting with Senator Tom Daschle, I feel the participants were quite blunt and open in telling the former US Senator their true feelings, almost what I would have done given the opportunity, but the question is will it make a difference.

Anjum Niaz

The News: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tom Daschle was in Islamabad. He is the former US Senate majority leader. His mission was to take back to Washington snapshots of the coming elections in Pakistan. Hes a power engine in the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Capitol Hill. His delegations arrival coincided with Benazir Bhuttos caravan of democracy getting botched up by suicide bombings.

More than the elections, Daschle appeared preoccupied with violence when he opened up a dialogue with members of PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency). Shahid Hamid, once a Farooq Leghari loyalist and former governor Punjab gave an opening statement on PILDATs behalf, saying the electoral process was at a “sensitive stage. Among his team were Lt-Gen. (retd) Asad Durrani, former director-general Inter-Services Intelligence and military intelligence; Dr Ijaz Shafi Gilani, chairman Gallup, Pakistan; Tasneem Noorani, former interior secretary; Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, executive director PILDAT and Aasiya Riaz, joint director PILDAT.
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Nawaz Sharif Deported !!!!

Nawaz SharifIn yet another embarrassing situation in Pakistan – Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has been deported from the country, after a stand off which lasted a few hours.

The aircraft from London PK-786 landed in Islamabad early today morning. After a few hours being holed up in the aircraft he was allowed to enter the VIP lounge where some members of security agency presented him an arrest warrant to which after time he agreed and was airlifted to an undisclosed location. barely thirty minutes reports came in that Nawaz Sharif was being deported to Saudi Arabia, being sent via a chartered flight out of the country.

I feel this is yet another embarrassing day for Pakistan again served up by the dictator Musharraf.
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Deal Against the Nation

By Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto
Published in Dawn 11th August 2007

It is no surprise that in the current whirlwind of imminent political realignments the usual adventurers have started salivating at the prospect of yet another bite at the cherry, while those who have had an absolute ball at public expense for the last eight years, see an escape from accountability at the polls through an immoral and shady deal.

But it is really depressing that our society as a whole is caught up in the slipstream of the fraud that is being perpetrated against the nation. The Musharraf and Benazir linkup, must raise many serious questions, based on the record of their past practices, and it is up to the sane elements, particularly the media, to honestly analyse what all this means for Pakistan.
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