A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

By MIRA SETHI, Islamabad, Pakistan

There are forces in Pakistan that want us to live in fear—fear of external and internal enemies.” So warns Husain Haqqani, until November Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington and now a de facto prisoner of the Pakistani generals whose ire he has provoked. “But just as the KGB and the Stasi did not succeed in suppressing the spirit of the Soviet and East German people, these forces won’t succeed in Pakistan in the long run, either.”

I am speaking to Mr. Haqqani in a spacious room in the official residence of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, where the 55-year-old former ambassador—wearing a cotton tunic, loose trousers and white rubber slippers—has been living for weeks, mainly for fear that he might be assassinated outside. The living arrangements may seem odd for those unfamiliar with Pakistan’s fractured politics. But his fear is not ill-founded.

Continue reading A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

Military-Mullah-Judicial Establishment – Husain Haqqani under virtual house arrest yet Laskhar-e-Jhangvi leader freed from jail – Strategic assets cannot be abused?

Malik Ishaq released from Kot Lakhpat prison

Ishaq, accused in 44 cases involving 70 killings, has been acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in 10.

By Asad Kharal

LAHORE: Malik Ishaq, the former leader of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has been released from Kot Lakhpat jail, official sources confirmed on Saturday.

On Friday, a review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC) had denied an extension for the detention of Malik Ishaq, for one more month and issued orders for his release. The board said the police had failed to provide concrete evidence of Ishaq’s involvement in terrorist activities. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/325121/malik-ishaq-released-from-kot-lakhpat-prison/

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Taliban video highlights revenge on Pakistan military – And yet Taliban Khan seriously believes that we should negotiate peace with them!

Taliban video highlights revenge on Pakistan military

Saud Mehsud, Reuters

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – Fifteen Pakistani soldiers stood blindfolded, handcuffed to each other on a barren hilltop as one of their bearded Taliban captors held an AK-47 rifle and spoke with fury about revenge.

He left no doubt what would come at any second.

Pakistan’s Taliban abducted the paramilitary troops on December 23 from near the country’s lawless tribal areas to avenge military operations.

Now they have released a video as a warning to Pakistan’s 600,000-member army, which has failed to break the back of the insurgents despite superior firepower and a series of offensives against their strongholds in forbidding mountain regions.

“Twelve of our comrades were besieged and mercilessly martyred in the Khyber Agency (area),” said the militant.

“Our pious women were also targeted. To avenge those comrades, we will kill these men. We warn the government of Pakistan that if the killing of our friends is not halted, this will be the fate of you all.”

Before death, one of the men described how dozens of Taliban fighters stormed their fort in the northwestern Tank district and kidnapped the soldiers.

“They attacked us with rockets, killed a sentry. One ran away. The Taliban entered the fort and captured us with our weapons,” he said, sitting in rows with other soldiers with their arms folded and legs crossed in front of Taliban banners.

“They tied our hands, put us in a Datsun and took us away.”

The video then shows the men standing quietly. Taliban chanting can be heard. “We will cross all limits to avenge your blood,” it said, referring to fighters killed by Pakistani security forces.

One of the men shoves a clip into his assault rifle and fires a few rounds into the back of the heads of a few of the soldiers. “God is greatest,” the Taliban yell.

Continue reading Taliban video highlights revenge on Pakistan military – And yet Taliban Khan seriously believes that we should negotiate peace with them!

This selfish sipah salar (Army Chief) must go

This selfish sipah salar must go

By Aakar Patel

Backed by feudal and martial Punjabis, the general presses his case in court. He pressures the government into extending his term. He clings to office, denying promotion to his brother officers. He puts the army in confrontation with the government and he does so for personal honour. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/325110/this-selfish-sipah-salar-must-go/

Government has failed to fulfill its responsibilities: CJ

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the judiciary is working within the ambit of the constitution.

He said this while addressing the oath taking ceremony of newly elected representatives of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) here on Saturday. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Will Supreme court send contempt of court notice to DG ISI???

Out of 11 people taken from Idyala jail last year by the ISI, dead bodies of 4 of them has been found from Peshawar. The disappearance case was taken in supreme and ISI accepted that they have these men and they are interrogating them and so they accepted the responsibility in the supreme court.

Now as 4 of them has been found dead, definitely by the ISI, therefore will Supreme Court (SC) deliver contempt of court notice to DG ISI??? whose agency members were given order by SC to make sure their safety of life and they didn’t obey the SC order. ….

Read more » Siasat.pk

http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?98817-Will-Supreme-court-send-contemp-of-court-notice-to-DG-ISI

Pakstan Army that refused security to twice former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto because she was seen as pro-U.S., is to provide security to an American Mansoor Ijaz who is anti-Bhutto

Security will be provided to Mansoor Ijaz: Army

ISLAMABAD: The meeting of corps commanders headed by the Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Thursday decided to provide Mansoor Ijaz with security upon his arrival in the country for the hearing of memogate case, DawnNews reported. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/12/security-will-be-provided-to-mansoor-ijaz-army.html

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Mansoor Ijaz terms Gen. Jim Jones a liar, says “he perjured himself”. Wasn’t the general, Ijaz’s own witness?

I will be in Pakistan before the 26th: Mansoor Ijaz

As the Memogate scandal continues to create ripples in the Pakistani establishment, all eyes now are centred on US-based Pakistani businessman Mansoor Ijaz – better known as the ‘Memogate man’. He has finally secured a Pakistan visa to travel to the country to depose before a judicial commission that is probing the political scandal. NDTV’s Barkha Dutt speaks to Ijaz amidst questions by the global media of why the latter missed his date with the court on the 16th of this month and what he would eventually say in his deposition.

To watch Mansoor Ijaz’s interview with Barkha Dutt » CLICK HERE : http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/i-will-be-in-pakistan-before-the-26th-mansoor-ijaz/221650&cp

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BBC – “Will the generals and judges force the president from power?” Pakistan’s political soap opera – By Owen Bennett Jones

Pakistan’s political soap opera

By Owen Bennett Jones, BBC News

Islamabad – Earlier this week, Pakistan’s prime minister appeared before the country’s Supreme Court to defend himself against allegations of contempt – it is symbolic of a dispute that is on-going at the centre of the country’s powerful elite.

When great institutions of state clash, history is made. It is the stuff of school history lessons – the Magna Carta, the Star Chamber, the Great Reform Act – that kind of thing.

But while in the UK such milestones have generally been once-a-century type events, in Pakistan they have become a way of life. Constitutional crises have become business as usual.

This week Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was forced to appear before the Supreme Court. He was there to face contempt proceedings related to the president’s immunity from prosecution.

I will spare you the details. But as I sat in the court’s press gallery, I felt pretty sure that in 100 years, Pakistani school children would not be learning about the January 2012 contempt case.

Perhaps they will be studying something the Western journalists did not even know was happening: a debate between some clerics on what role Islam should have in the state.

But the court was colourful. There was the prime minister, alongside him his brilliant lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan and a throng of ministers showing solidarity.

And buzzing about all of them, the journalists – representatives of Pakistan’s new, irrepressible 24-hour news television culture.

For millions of Pakistanis, the constant wrangling of the elite has the quality of a TV soap opera.

I do not want to belittle the importance of politics. The failure of successive elected and military governments has left millions of Pakistanis highly frustrated. But still the TV news shows attract massive audiences – people both despair of their leaders and want to know all about them.

Because many of the political parties are little more than family businesses, the same names have been around for decades – with power passed from father to daughter, brother to brother, and so on.

All this is against a backdrop of corruption cases, the frequent imprisonment of politicians, the “war on terror”, suicide attacks, assassinations, US military incursions – there is so much going on.

Pakistani news anchors can pirouette from the big news such as “The Prime Minister’s Day in Court”, to the tittle-tattle – the affairs, the hair transplants, the family rows.

Will the generals and judges force the president from power?” …

Read more » BBC

Bangladesh Army says it foiled a coup via Facebook

Intelligence sources say the Bangladesh coup attempt last month was fueled by retired officers campaigning to introduce sharia law. The news raises concern about political instability in the region.

By Anis Ahmed, Reuters

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Army said on Thursday it had foiled a coup attempt by retired and serving officers last month that intelligence sources said was driven by a campaign to introduce sharia law throughout the majority Muslim country.

Army intelligence discovered that Major Ziaul Haque had fled the barracks and was contacting fellow officers and ex-officers through Facebook and by cellphone to encourage them to join the plot, Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq said.

“Specific information has been unearthed that some officers in military service have been involved in the conspiracy to topple the system of democratic governance,” he told reporters.

He said around 16 former and active officers were involved. Some had been detained and would appear before a military court.

Impoverished Bangladesh has a history of coups, with army generals running the South Asian nation for 15 years until the end of 1990.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took power in early 2009 and has since faced threats from Islamist and other radical groups.

A revolt in the country’s paramilitary forces in February 2009 started in Dhaka and spread to a dozen other cities, killing more than 70 people, including 51 army officers. The revolt was quelled after two days but the country has since been shadowed by fears of further uprisings.

Sources in the army said the coup attempt was made late last month. “The attempt has been effectively controlled and now the process is on to punish the culprits,” one military official said.

Intelligence sources said the coup attempt was fuelled by a retired officer and associates in active service who were campaigning to introduce sharia law.

Intelligence officers also said it appeared to have been planned over weeks or months by officers having close links with what they described as religious fanatics within and outside the military. ….

Read more » CSMONITOR.COM