Permanent coup d’état?

By Aqil Shah

FORMER French president François Mitterrand used to deride Charles de Gaulle`s Fifth Republic as a “permanent coup d`état”.

He might as well have been talking about Pakistan, the only country in the world that seems almost permanently trapped between military coups. The spectre of the next putsch continuously haunts elected governments. The question is not if there will be a coup, but when. The most recent `near` coup over the memo scandal is only the latest example of how deeply entrenched coup politics is in our political process.

From the ISI chief`s autonomous investigation into the mysterious memo to the army chief`s politically insubordinate affidavit in the Supreme Court, the generals have clearly revealed their utter disregard for democratic norms. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Senators: Stop harassing former Pakistan envoy

By Karen DeYoung

Three U.S. senators Thursday expressed concern about what they called the “ongoing harassment and mistreatment” of Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, by authorities in his own country.

“We are increasingly troubled by Ambassador Haqqani’s treatment since he returned home to Pakistan, including the travel ban imposed on him,” said a statement by Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.). They urged Pakistani authorities “to resolve this matter swiftly,” consistent with the rule of law, and to prevent the investigation of Haqqani “from becoming a political tool for revenge against an honorable man.” ….

Read more » The Washington Post

Troublemakers every where!

Hindu group ‘flew Pakistan’s flag to create tension’

LAHORE: Six members of a right-wing Hindu group have reportedly been arrested in India’s southern Karnataka state for raising Pakistan’s national flag on a government building. BBC quotes police as saying that the arrested men belong to the Sri Rama Sena group. The flag was raised in Sindgi, near Bijapur, on January 1, leading to angry protests by Hindu organisations and the stoning of a Muslim prayer hall. Police say Sri Rama Sena was trying to create “communal disharmony” in an area with a sizeable Muslim presence. Sri Rama Sena is a fringe group that claimed responsibility for attacking women outside a pub in the coastal district of Mangalore in 2009, saying that allowing females in pubs was against Indian culture. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Charan Reddy told BBC that the situation in Sindgi was “now peaceful”. “It seems they were out to create communal disharmony,” he said. Hindu organisations had called for strikes in a number of towns around Bijapur to protest against the flag-raising. However, IGP Reddy said police investigations had led them to members of the Sri Rama Sena, a group founded by Pramod Muthalik after it broke away from the Bajrang Dal, an affiliate of the long-standing Hindu nationalist organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Muthalik is the leading suspect in the attack on the women in Mangalore. Former chief minister and Janata Dal Secular party leader HD Kumaraswamy said of the flag-raising, “It is such a shame. I blame the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the incident. They want to divide society on religious lines.” daily times monitor

Courtesy: Daily Times

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201216\story_6-1-2012_pg7_4

Video (Urdu): Pakistani “security consultant” Zaid Hamid implicitly warns memogate judges not to acquit Husain Haqqani.

» YouTube

Statement of concern – U.S. senators demand fair treatment for former Amb. Haqqani

By Josh Rogin

Three U.S. senators are calling on the Pakistani government and judiciary to protect former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, who they say has been the victim of “ongoing harassment and mistreatment” since resigning late last year due to the Memogate scandal.

“We are increasingly troubled by Ambassador Haqqani’s treatment since he returned home to Pakistan, including the travel ban imposed on him,” said Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in a Thursday statement. “Like many in Washington, we are closely following Ambassador Haqqani’s case. We urge Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter swiftly and consistent with civilian rule of law and to prevent the judicial commission investigating Ambassador Haqqani from becoming a political tool for revenge against an honorable man.” ….

Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)

In short the prime minister should now be reading to face the contempt of court charges

PPP to not respond to court in Swiss case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) categorically refused to submit a letter to Swiss authorities as demanded earlier by the Supreme Court, Express News reported on Thursday. The decision was taken during a meeting of the party’s core committee.

Chairing the committee meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari remarked that the Constitution provides the president with immunity in such cases. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was also present at the meeting.

The Supreme Court on January 3 gave a seven-day deadline to the government for the implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which included an order to the government to write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen cases against President Zardari.

The meeting continues in the President House, and sources say that the Memogate issue will be discussed along with upcoming Senate elections, current political situation of the country and relations with coalition parties. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

via » twitter » NJ

PAKISTAN – Roses for a killer

Can Pakistan step back from the brink?

One year ago, Pakistan was shaken when leading politician Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard. His violent death and the lack of government response were merely the beginning of a turbulent year for the country. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether Pakistan can step back from the brink in 2012.

The death of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, now appears as both the start and the symbol of the political, economic and social unravelling of Pakistan that has taken place since that fateful 4 January day.

The gruesome aftermath of his death, when the governing Pakistan People’s Party, the army, the mullahs and civil society appeared to deny the reality of what had happened, made many Pakistanis ashamed of their rulers.

Roses for a killer

Mumtaz Qadri, an elite police force member, pumped 27 bullets into the politician as he was walking back to his car after lunch at an Islamabad restaurant. ….

Read more » BBC