Daily brief: Musharraf announces return to Pakistan
When Pervez comes marching home again Speakingto a crowd of supporters in Karachi via video uplink, former Pakistani President and military dictator Pervez Musharraf announced Sunday that he would return to Pakistan between January 27 and 30 to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in election campaigning (ET, BBC, Dawn, Tel, DT, AJE, AP, ...
When Pervez comes marching home again
When Pervez comes marching home again
Speakingto a crowd of supporters in Karachi via video uplink, former Pakistani President and military dictator Pervez Musharraf announced Sunday that he would return to Pakistan between January 27 and 30 to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in election campaigning (ET, BBC, Dawn, Tel, DT, AJE, AP, CNN, LAT, AFP, Reuters).Musharraf, who faces potential arrest if he travels to Pakistan, will reportedly stop in Saudi Arabia to garner support for his return (ET, Reuters). He also told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Saturday that Pakistan should contemplate relations with Israel (Reuters). And The News looks at Musharraf’s overseas bank accounts (The News).
FormerPakistani ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani appeared before the commission investigating the "Memogate" affair Monday, where he denied any role in drafting a letter that offered to help remove Pakistan’s military leadership in return for U.S. support to avoid a coup (Dawn, ET, NYT, Reuters, Dawn).Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who says Haqqani drafted the memo which Ijaz then passed to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, has been granted a visa to travel to Pakistanto appear before the commission (Dawn, ET, Dawn).Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari again denied this weekend that he would resign from his post, as negotiations between the Pakistan PeoplesParty (PPP) and the rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are saidto be progressing (Reuters, ET).Finally, Sherry Rehman has taken up her official duties as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States, while TIME’s Ishaan Tharoor looks toward the future of Pakistan’s liberals (Dawn, ET, TIME). TheTehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the killings of 10 Frontier Corps personnel kidnapped last month and found Monday in Orakzai, saying the bodies were handed over as part of an exchange for 10 TTP fighters killed by Pakistani security forces (Dawn, AP, BBC, ET, Tel, AFP).The Times’ Eric Schmitt reports that according to U.S. and Pakistani officials, the nearly two-month pause in U.S. drone strikes has allowed militants more freedom of movement in Pakistan’s tribal areas, as the Tribune reported that America and Pakistan may be close to an agreement to resume the strikes (NYT, ET).In Karachi, four people were killed this weekend, including a security guard at the U.S. consulate in the city, while Dawn reports that authorities were aware of al-Qaeda plans to attack military targets and especially naval installations in Pakistan going back to 2009, but failed to properly protect Karachi’s Mehran naval base, assaulted by militants in May of last year (ET, Dawn).Also in Karachi, police said this weekend that they had killed a Taliban commander named Yaseen Shah and arrested an "associate" (AP).
Fivestories round out the Pakistan news: Police in Quetta say they’ve made some arrests in the kidnapping of British nurse and Muslim convert Khalil Dale, seized in Quetta last week (Tel).A Pakistani national living in Maryland, Nadeem Akhtar, was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for conspiring to export materials to Pakistan that could be used in nuclear reactors (AP, Reuters).Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have reportedly turned down Pakistani requests to extend the term length of its credit for oil payments (ET).A Pakistani Christian falsely identified as Jewish and subsequently arrested for blasphemy before being released in 2003, says that he and his family still face death threats (ET).And Pakistani officials announced Saturday that the country had freed 179 Indian fishermen imprisoned for crossing into Pakistani waters (CNN).
Afghaninvestigators said Saturday that they had found evidence of American abuse of detainees at the country’s detention center at Parwan, though the Times’ Matthew Rosenberg reports that according to American and British officials, the Afghans focused on the part of the prison run by Afghan authorities, not by NATO (BBC, NYT).
Accordingto the Tribune, American officials have given Pakistan the "green light’ to bring the militant Haqqani Network into reconciliation negotiations in Afghanistan (ET). Anda man in an Afghan military uniform, believed to be a member of the Afghan National Army, shot and killed a U.S. soldier in Zabul province this weekend, before being killed by NATO troops — though the Telegraphsuggests that the shooting occurred after a dispute between several U.S. and Afghan troops (BBC, AP, Tel).
Reuters reports that only one in three Afghans has access to electricity, though as many as 70 percent have access in Kabul (Reuters). Laura King has a must-read on the increasing difficulties Afghans face this winter (LAT).And Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry has announced that it will open an embassy in Greece in the next few months, to help deal with the tens of thousands of illegal Afghan migrants living in the country (AP).
Dawnreports that three-wheeled rickshaws are being blamed for a host of problems in Peshawar, including pollution and noise problems leading to increased hearing loss in the city (Dawn). Independent estimates indicate that of the purportedly 50,000 rickshaws in the city, only 13,000 are licensed.
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