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December 2007 - January 2008

Political News

Inside Pakistan

“I will quit only when turmoil is over: says Musharraf

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf declared that he would not quit ntil the country’s political turmoil was over. He strongly defended his decision to impose a state of Emergency.

In an interview with Britain’s Sky News television, he reiterated general elections promised by January 9 would be held under Emergency rule.

“The day when there is no turmoil in Pakistan; I will step down. I am not a dictator, I want democracy,” said Musharraf.

Presiden Musharraf imposed Emergency rule on November 3 on the pretex that Islamic militancy and an inerfering judiciary was a danger to he stability of the country. According to his he took the decision in the best interests of the county.

The Presidentg who is also the army chief, grabbed power in a coup in 1999, is under strong domestic and international pressure to end the Emergency. Even president Bush has asked him to quit his post as Army Chief. The Commonwealth has given an ultimatum of ten days to lift emergency or his country would be out of Commonwealth. But he is adamant that Emergency rule would remain in place until the Election in order to ensure that it could go ahead safely.


Benazir Bhutto wants Nawaz Sharif to join her to form Opposition Front

Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani Opposition leader, has now completely detached herself from any partnership with President Musharraf. She has completely lost faith in the President. She also called exiled premier Nawaz Shrif to ask him to form a united opposition front against President Pervez Musharraf.

“According to her the aim of those talks would be to form a common front and to formulate a joint strategy to save democracy.

The twice elected former prime minister has spoken to nine other leading political opponents of Mushrraf in recent days. She is trying o isolate Musharraf as she is convinced that the President is not at all interested in bringing democracy in Pakistan. Her aide, Safdar Abbasi said, “She is talking to other political leaders and the agenda of the talks is the revival of democracy and restoration of the 1973 constitution.”



Cllr Fiyaz Mughal, Lib. Democrat councillor and prospective candidate for Mayor of London Stated – “General Musharraf’s Ploy to Impose Martial Law Makes a Mockery of the Notion that Pakistan is Moving Towards Democracy .”

General Musharraf’s imposition of martial law and comments by Shaukat Aziz (the Prime Minister of Pakistan) that the country needs a “code of conduct,” bring into question the future of Pakistan and its journey along real democratic change. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also stated that “Pakistan cannot have the media going into unchartered waters.”

Commenting on the rapidly changing situation in Pakistan, Cllr Fiyaz Mughal stated that,

“The imposition of martial law makes a mockery of the notion that Pakistan is moving towards democracy. What is even more disturbing is the ease at which the instruments of the State have been used to arrest political rivals, snuff out dissent from the media and the cynical manner in which terrorism has been used as a cover to stamp upon the very small shoots of democracy that have been trying to grow within Pakistan.”

“General Musharraf and his administration must be held to account for any potential abuses in human rights and Pakistan frankly deserves better.”

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