Corruption scandal threatens to engulf Spanish Princess

By Gabriel RUBIO – GIRON (AFP)

Madrid — Spanish King Juan Carlos’s youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, has been hurled into the centre of a corruption scandal that swept up her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, and outraged the nation.

The blonde-haired, 48-year-old Cristina, once known for her easy smile, was summoned Tuesday to appear on March 8 before a court in Palma on the Mediterranean island of Majorca as a suspect in alleged tax and money-laundering crimes.

It will be the first time in modern history that a direct relative of the Spanish king has faced court as a suspect, dealing a grave blow to the prestige of the princess and a Spanish monarchy already reeling from a corruption scandal involving Cristina’s husband Inaki Urdangarin.

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Best of Frenemies: Pakistan’s Husain Haqqani has tough words for his home country -and for its supposed ally, the United States

Hussain Haqqani
Hussain Haqqani

By Adnan Siddiqi

Pakistan and the United States aren’t allies – they “just pretend to be allies.” Or so says Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S. He’s making waves with his latest book, Magnificent Delusions, which speaks hard truths about the difficult relationship between the two countries. In 2011, Haqqani was forced to resign as Islamabad’s envoy to Washington following a controversy in which he was accused of delivering, through an intermediary, a note to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff asking for U.S. help to ward off a supposed coup in Pakistan after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden. (He has denied the episode and also said there was no attempted coup.) He was investigated by the Supreme Court at home for treason, and he eventually left the country, saying his life was at risk. Haqqani returned to the United States and now teaches international relations at Boston University. Newsweek Pakistan spoke with him by email about his book and the delusions that continue to impair Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S.

NW: You have been a consistent advocate of resetting Pakistan-America relations on the basis of pragmatism. What exactly does this entail?

HH: For 66 years, Pakistan has sought close ties with the U.S. with the sole purpose of offsetting India’s size and military advantage. This has been a security relationship. But no nation can become a regional power while also being dependent on assistance from other countries. A better option for Pakistan would be to normalize relations with India and Afghanistan and then have a broader, nonsecurity relationship with the United States. Pakistanis resent the U.S. partly because we have been dependent on it. The United States had not been constant in its relations with Pakistan, but it was also wrong on Pakistan’s part to expect constancy. I have studied several models of partnership with the United States and wondered why most other U.S. allies since World War II have prospered while Pakistan has not. The answer came down to our unwillingness to have an honest relationship. South Korea and Taiwan aligned their security policies and perceptions with the Americans. Pakistan refused to accept U.S. advice, especially when its regional view was questioned. My vision, encouraged by [former prime minister] Benazir Bhutto, was for a strategic rather than tactical relationship. It would not be based on asking for military aid in return for providing some services to the Americans in their concerns. We need to build a self-confident Pakistan, free of the burdens of past blunders, especially jihadist misadventures. American assistance should be directed toward standing on our own feet. We need a relationship involving education, tourism, investment, and trade – like other countries have – not one that is all about seeking military equipment and aid in private and abusing America in public.

Read more » NewsWeek
http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/01/03/best-frenemies.html

Voicing concerns: Sindhi activists ask British govt to take action against Altaf

KARACHI: Scores of Sindhi writers, poets, journalists and civil society activists staged a protest at the British High Commission, handing over a memorandum of compliant against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, asking the British government to ask Hussain to avoid provocative and seditious speech in Pakistan.

The rally, which started from Do Talwar, was not allowed to proceed towards the High Commission by law enforcers due to security reasons. After negotiations between the police and the participants, the rally was stopped at a distance from the commission and four representatives of the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Forum were allowed to meet British officials.

Two officials of the British Commission met Dr Akash Ansari, Prof. Mushtaq Mirani, Jami Chandio and Dastaghir Bhatti at the office gate where they complained that Hussain was trying to incite ethnic violence in Sindh.

The officials assured that the complaint would be sent to the British government today ….

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/655678/voicing-concerns-sindhi-activists-ask-british-govt-to-take-action-against-altaf/