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Posts tagged with: USA

Report: ISI was diverting US aid to Rig the Elections

This news report to many does not come as a surprise, as many independent observers including this scribe have been screaming all along that these elections are no where near the notion of being free and fair – these elections were being carefully heavily rigged and the results planned in the favor of the ruling coalition, Jeremy Page has come out with some interesting discussions but I hope for the sake of transparency that the original document does finally make it into the free world

Published in Times Online written by Jeremy Page in Naudero excerpts of the article quoted here while the rest can be read on TIMES ONLINE

On the day she was assassinated, Benazir Bhutto was due to meet two senior American politicians to show them a confidential report alleging that Pakistans intelligence service was using US money to rig parliamentary elections, officials in her party said yesterday.

The report was compiled by the former Prime Ministers own contacts within the security services and alleged that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency was running the election operation from a safe house in the capital, Islamabad, they said. The operations aim was to undermine Ms Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and to ensure victory for the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) party, which supports President Musharraf, in the elections scheduled for January 8.
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A Possible Solution to the Mess in Pakistan

It comes as no surprise that there is tremendous pressure on the Election Commission to hold the elections on time but the ruling elite know such a decision is doomsday for each one of them. Today yet again the spokesman for the Election Commission of Pakistan said that holding parliamentary elections as scheduled on January 8 “looks impossible. and the elections can be delayed. Kanwar Dilshad mentioned a deteriorating situation in 13 districts across Pakistan where there were security problems following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

A POSSIBLE SOLUTION

There is now no doubt that the United States of America will be hounding the present regime to announce the general elections on time, it can be recalled that Condolezza Rice had called up Asif Zardari urging him to take part in the Jan 8th elections. It is now possible that the changing circumstances has now brought about some confusion within the minds of US lawmakers, on who to support. In all fairness I feel the onus lies on the United States to ensure a free and fair elections. It about time they stop patronizing Musharraf and remove him from Pakistan with immediate effect, install an independent caretaker government entrusting them the powers to form an independent election commission & hold free and fair elections. It is beyond certainty that the PPP will emerge victorious as the sympathy vote will over run them through into the parliament also feeding the American desire for a moderate ruling party. An elections with PML-Q and Musharraf watching over it would mean a Florida chad-like fiasco with an adamant government not willing to accept the results and the ECP fully in toe declining to declare the results, so its important to rehash the commission without Musharraf and Chaudhry’s watching over them.

The people who will loose out on this formula will be Musharraf, PM-Q, JUI-F and a slight dent on MQM, while the winners will most likely be PPP, PML-N & PTI. This plan maybe idealistic but this is the perfect opportunity for the US to mend the wounds of a bleeding country, egos will definitely go down hard but the right people will come into power. PPP is at the moment standing daggers drawn for coming onto the streets if the elections are delayed I think they can be coaxed to stand down with a little convincing , offering them an independent Musharraf free election it might make it all the more sweeter
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Doctors Told to Shut Up

In an investigative report appearing in Washington Post it seems there was an elaborate plan to cover up the evidence relating to the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The Washington Post have expressed their concern to say that the Pakistani authorities have pressured the medical personnel who tried to save Benazir Bhutto’s life to remain silent about what happened in her final hour and have removed records of her treatment from the facility, according to doctors. It seems all this cover-up slowly got exposed since the video and images of the assassination become public after Musharraf’s propaganda team tried to spoof its way through a fabricated medical report

In an interview with the doctors who were at Bhutto’s side at the Rawalpindi General Hospital said that they were under extreme pressure not to share details about the nature of the injuries that the opposition leader suffered in an attack, “The government took all the medical records right after Ms. Bhutto’s time of death was read out,” said the visibly shaken doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: “Look, we have been told by the government to stop talking. And a lot of us feel this is a disgrace.”

Jameel Yusuf, a lead investigator in the 2002 disappearance of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi, said the Pakistani government had blundered badly by not sealing off the crime scene. Moments after Bhutto was killed, workers hosed down the blood at the blast site before any evidence could be collected. “When you’re dealing with a murder of this nature, you need to have forensics,” Yusuf said.


They don’t blame Al-Qa’ida. They blame Musharraf: Robert Fisk

By Robert Fisk Published in The Independent UK.

This is an article worth reading where Robert Fisk places the right questions, we genuinely believe its not the work of Al-Qa’ida but instead an outcome of Musharraf’s eight year rule, few recent links here and here while this blog is full of statements condemning Musharraf practically since its inception in 2004. So as they say the writing was on the wall, only if someone dared to read the wall is the question, as they say better late then never but please save my country from the brink of disaster

Weird, isn’t it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us. Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, is assassinated in Rawalpindi attached to the very capital of Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf lives and we are told by George Bush that her murderers were “extremists” and “terrorists”. Well, you can’t dispute that.
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Bilawal Zardari, the new PPP Chairman

It is just being announced that Bilawal Zardari, the 19 year old eldest son of Benazir Bhutto, will be the new Chairman of PPP. Personally I feel this might in effect be a good decision for the Bhutto dynasty but a major rift within the party would definitely be seen in short order, as Amin Faheem definitely had his eyes set on the top leadership. It may suit the American agenda perfectly as it would be easier to negotiate with Bilawal as compared to rehashing the entire negotiations with a new face in the PPP. More updates to follow as news comes in


Condoleezza Rice calls Zardari to request for Elections on 8th !!!

It was just reported on ARY One World that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called up Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto requesting him permission to let the January 8th elections to go on as planned.

I am not sure whats the agenda in all this but I suspect some serious foul play afoot to which the American bureaucracy is a full part of all this.

I personally have never believed in Benazir and my blog is brimming full of my stand against her, but at this sensitive time I too feel grief stricken to have lost a great leader in Pakistan. I would have preferred to argue and debate, but never will I wish any opponent a horrific death like this, it is simply inhumane. But when such a tragedy happens its important to be considerate of human sensitivities and let the wounds heal. Holding the elections so close to her death will mean deliberately plunging the country into chaos. As I have been repeating over and over again I hope good wisdom prevails. I feel the player deeply involved in ensuring that the election must go on time are Musharraf, PML-Q and MQM.

I now urge all Pakistanis to step up their efforts to urge the world to stop these elections as I dread, this may contribute to total annihilation of Pakistan


Pakistan morns the Death of Benazir Bhutto

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a suicide attack today in Rawalpindi outside the Liaquatbagh rally she addressed moments earlier. In all honesty, I was never a fan of her style of politics corruption but on hearing this sad news it leaves me and the entire nation in shock, quite literally forgiving her for everything, May Her Soul Rest in Peace.

As the country plunges into chaos with news of riots already afoot throughout Pakistan. Yes we will recover, yes the world will move on, but we will surely remember her ultimate sacrifice for Pakistan.

My analysis of who is to blame may be quite simple as we have been repeating the same thing over and over again – The Americans MUST stop their adventures and infiltrations into other countries and their war on terror has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan stands on the edge ready to plummet into darkness. This war on terror is a war of the Americans and NOT our war.

We Pakistanis Plead with the movers and shakers in United States to Please For Gods Sake Leave US ALONE


8-Page Advertorial in USA Today by Govt of Pakistan

An 8-page advertorial appeared in US Today on the 18th of December on PAKISTAN it was published by the United World Project Team in Pakistan and is sponsored by the a number of pro-Musharraf companies. Overtly it may seem to be an attempt to evoke positive energy for Pakistan but realistically its all geared up to boost the failing image of Musharraf and his attempt to woo in – not the Pakistani people, but instead an American vote of approval. The advertorial was also closely linked to the salvage team (Nasim Ashraf and Kashmala Tariq) [link], [link], [link] that was sent to the US for bolstering the sinking image of Musharraf.

It must be noted that practically a day before on the 17th of December hundreds of policemen brutally lathi-charged a group of citizens wanting to greet the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohd Chaudhry, the next day after the withdrawal of the so-called Emergency. It is after all, since 1999 and more specifically since 9/11 that Musharraf has continued to appease the American government to offer him one life-extension after another (despite all of their ‘half-hearted’ warnings) it seems that this time again he has yet again successfully wooed in the American vote of approval

For any Pakistani it should not be too difficult to see through this propaganda advertorial, but what worries me is maybe this in-your-face eight page advertorial might have helped temporarily patched up any misgivings between America and Musharraf. He continues to reign supreme while the rest of the country can go to hell

Download the 8-page US Today advertorial in PDF format HERE


Final Testimony to the US House Committee on Pakistani elections

Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Pakistani elections: Will they be fair and free or fundamentally flawed?

20 December 2007
Washington, DC

International Crisis Group LogoI want to express once again the appreciation of the International Crisis Group for the continuing attention of the Committee and particularly Chairman John Tierney and the other members of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to U.S. relations with Pakistan and the performance of that government concerning democracy, Islamic extremism and terrorism.

This hearing asks whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will be fair and free or fundamentally flawed. That question has to be asked now. Election Day will be too late.

The sad answer today is that Pakistans parliamentary elections will be fatally flawed unless political, electoral and legal conditions are rapidly improved. Today, conditions
to permit a fair and free election do not exist. It is December 20th- martial law was lifted five days ago and the election will be held in only eighteen days.

Election Day is the final act of a democratic drama. Act one requires objective and non-partisan rules and standards adopted and monitored by neutral authorities. Act two demands that parties are permitted to select their own candidates, candidates allowed to campaign without hindrance or intimidation, and a free press given unfettered opportunity to challenge, question, and report on candidates, parties and public issues including the illegality of emergency rule and the actions of President Musharraf and Pakistan security forces.
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ISI agents orchestrate a staged escape of Rashid Rauf

Rashid Rauf in PakistanAn article has been posted on Times Online UK which raises concerns that Pakistan’s secret service may have staged the escape of Rashid Rauf a few days back. The excuse / investigation presented by the Pakistani Police seems to be an utter farce when the explanation shows that a high profile prisoner was allowed to munch down at McDonald’s and then allowed unchained and unattended to offer prayers in a mosque, only to let him escape through the ‘other door’.

In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives. It can very well be speculated that the government is now afraid that, if he were allowed to go back to the UK he would then be an utter embarrassment for the present regime since they had trumpeted and hyped his involvement in global terrorism

A brief Introduction of Rashid Rauf as posted on Wikipedia

Rashid Rauf, a dual citizen of Britiain and Pakistan, was arrested in Bhawalpur, Pakistan in connection with the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot in August 2006, a day before some arrests were made in Britain. The Pakistani Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, claimed that “he is an al Qaeda operative with linkages in Afghanistan”. He is said to be one of the ringleaders of the alleged plot. In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives

TIMES ONLINE, UK: Friends of Rashid Rauf, the man wanted in Britain for last years Al-Qaeda plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, believe that he did not escape from custody last weekend but was kidnapped by Pakistans military intelligence agency (ISI). They fear he may be shot. Rauf was arrested in Pakistan in August last year at the same time as 25 men were held in Britain after police uncovered an alleged plot to blow up 12 airliners flying to the United States from Heathrow and Gatwick. The arrests led to widespread changes in airport security and a ban on liquids being taken onto planes in hand luggage.
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Pakistans Tyranny Continues – NY Times Op-Ed by Aitzaz Ahsan

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgAn Op-Ed article written by Aitzaz Ahsan which appeared on the Sunday morning New York Times website can be read here

The chief justice of Pakistans Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesnt seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justices lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justices lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque, my family and I were surrounded at a rest stop by policemen with guns cocked and I was dragged off and thrown into the back of a police van. After a long and harrowing drive along back roads, I was returned home and to house arrest.
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12 Human Rights NGO’s write to Condoleezza Rice

Twelve Human Rights Organizations write a detailed letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the grave situation in Pakistan. The 12 NGO’s signing the letter are

Amnesty International USA, The Carter Center, Freedom House, Global Rights, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International Justice Mission, International League for Human Rights, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights & Robert F Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.

The letter is as follows
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A Demented Musharraf talks to Newsweek

Newsweek Online has published excerpts of an interview with General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf taken a few days before the Martial Law was lifted. I share it with you since reading the entire interview one does get an eerie bone chilling sensation that Musharraf has completely lost his sanity and seems to be raging maniac out to seek revenge against those who dared question is authority. He actually makes no effort to hide his anger and instead tries to offer a some lame logical [demented] justification for all his wrong-doings. Most important point to note is that there seems to be little or no concern about the future of Pakistan, only toeing the ‘Anti-terrorism’ concept to suit his own personal vested goal and in effect keep America off his back. Don’t take my words for it, read the entire interview and be a judge for yourself, do share your comments but in my opinion there is definitely a loose screw in the mind of this psychomaniac

Pervaiz MusharrafNEWSWEEK: Is there a difference now that you have shed your uniform and relinquished your post of army chief of staff?
MUSHARRAF: On a personal note, I loved my uniform. From the national point of view, I don’t think there is a difference. I think the overall situation will be better and stronger. The army is being managed by a chief of staff dedicated to the job, and I will be president of Pakistan, and if the two are totally in harmony, the situation is better.

You will appoint the heads of the Army?
I will appoint the chief. The security services report to the president and the prime minister … The ISI [military intelligence service] reports to the political leaders.

Once there is a prime minister, how do you see power being shared?
The prime minister runs the government. Then there is a National Security Council chaired by the president that meets to review situations. But this is only a consultative body. There is no sharing of responsibility really.

You announced [that the state of emergency] will lifted on Dec. 15. Does that mean that the regulations recently imposed on the press will be lifted?
There are no restrictions on the press.
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Musharraf continues his rant ‘Former CJ was corrupt’

An article written by Javed Siddique in The Nation titled Former CJ was corrupt gives an interesting insight into how Musharraf believed that an elaborate conspiracy was being hatched to unseat him from the throne of the President of Pakistan. At first I wanted to leave the full contents of the article intact without any editing, but the more I read it, I get the urge to comment on each specific issue as my own rebuttal to all this hogwash. The rebuttal is being clearly demarcated in [italic parenthesis]

Article orginally written for The Nation by Javed Siddique titled Former CJ was corrupt

President Pervez Musharraf has said that besides former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Nawaz Sharif were involved in the conspiracy to block his way to become a constitutionally elected President. He said this while addressing the 18th Annual Banquet of the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAK-PAC) and its Board of Directors here [Islamabad] at a local hotel on Wednesday. President Musharraf claimed that Justice (R) Ramday and Aitzaz Ahsan held meeting in Geneva. “Today I want to disclose as to what conspiracy was being hatched to sidetrack democracy. [Hallelujah, pray tell us *looking onwards with a twinkle in the eyes anticipating for some juicy gossip*] He alleged that Justice (R) Ifthikhar was at the centre of this conspiracy. […geez is that all you got for us!!!]
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Questions for Musharraf and Bush – By Aitzaz Ahsan

Article published in The Washington Post
By John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan

One of us chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee tasked with oversight of U.S. foreign policy, and one of us languishes under house arrest after transfer from a Pakistani jail for the “heinous” and “seditious” crime of representing, in legal proceedings, the sacked chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

As members of the political opposition in our respective countries and as lawyers firmly committed to the rule of law, we have a few questions for our heads of state:

How will you address the increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan in light of the growing, and not unjustified, perception among Pakistan’s democratic moderates that the United States is not willing to stand with the people of Pakistan against an increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic government in Islamabad?
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