Pakistani politicians submit names for Tuesday’s presidential election

And the nominees are…  Upon reviewing Senator Raja Zafrul Haq’s request to hold Pakistan’s presidential election earlier than scheduled, the country’s Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that the election will be held next Tuesday, July 30 (Dawn, ET).  With the review process now being completed in just two days, Pakistan’s political parties rushed to submit ...

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GettyImages
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GettyImages
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GettyImages

And the nominees are... 

Upon reviewing Senator Raja Zafrul Haq's request to hold Pakistan's presidential election earlier than scheduled, the country's Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that the election will be held next Tuesday, July 30 (Dawn, ET).  With the review process now being completed in just two days, Pakistan's political parties rushed to submit their presidential nominations.  On Wednesday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominated Mamnoon Hussain and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf nominated Justice Wajihuddin.  The Awami National Party and the Balochistan National Party-Awami both said they would support Pakistan Peoples Party candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement decided not to field a candidate in the election (Dawn).

And the nominees are… 

Upon reviewing Senator Raja Zafrul Haq’s request to hold Pakistan’s presidential election earlier than scheduled, the country’s Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that the election will be held next Tuesday, July 30 (Dawn, ET).  With the review process now being completed in just two days, Pakistan’s political parties rushed to submit their presidential nominations.  On Wednesday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominated Mamnoon Hussain and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf nominated Justice Wajihuddin.  The Awami National Party and the Balochistan National Party-Awami both said they would support Pakistan Peoples Party candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement decided not to field a candidate in the election (Dawn).

Masoom Billah, a "death squad" chief for the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) militant group, admitted to the Sindh High Court on Wednesday that he had helped plan the attack that injured Justice Maqbool Baqar in Karachi on June 26 (Dawn, ET).  In his statement, Billah said he and his accomplices had planned the attack in the home of an LJ colleague, challenging the Pakistani Taliban’s claim of responsibility.  While Baqar survived the attack, nine people were killed and many more were injured when an explosives-laden motorbike was detonated by the justice’s convoy.

Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation, the country’s most well-known philanthropic organization, is in the midst of its second cross-country bus tour to find the families of 50 "lost" boys living in its facilities and as of Monday, 41 of the children had been reunited their families (AP).  The boys, often found on the street by bystanders or police, dropped off by poor families who can’t afford to take care of them, or runaways, are relying on their memories to find their families.  While there have been several emotional reunions, some boys returned home, only to find that their families had moved.  During Edhi’s first bus tour in 2008, 48 of the 55 boys on board were reunited with their families.  

Foreign aid threatened

U.S. lawmakers threatened to cut foreign aid to Afghanistan on Tuesday, should the Afghan government proceed with an exit tax on American military equipment, food supplies, and other items as coalition troops withdraw from the country (AP).  In particular, they are threatening to withhold $5 in foreign aid for every $1 in fees, which according to news reports, total around $70 million.  The amendment was attached to the Senate’s 2014 operations bill, which already slashes the State Department’s diplomacy and aid budget by 5 percent.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the CIA has started closing down its clandestine bases in Afghanistan, marking the beginning of its own drawdown in the region and a turn towards other trouble spots around the world (Post).  U.S. officials described the closures as preliminary steps in an overdue plan to halve the number of CIA bases in Afghanistan over the next two years.  But they also stressed that the CIA will maintain a significant footprint in the country, manning one of the agency’s largest stations in the world, as well as keeping a fleet on armed drones to patrol Pakistan’s tribal belt. 

After reports that three NATO troops were killed in a suicide attack in Wardak province on Tuesday, U.S. officials confirmed that three American soldiers were among the dead (NYT).  Four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were also killed, while at least three other American soldiers were injured when an insurgent on a donkey detonated an explosive device near their convoy.  The Afghan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

‘Immoral’ ad

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority pulled a contraceptives ad from Pakistan’s airwaves on Tuesday after receiving public complaints about the commercial (AFP, Dawn, ET, IBT).  The 50-second ad features a brand of condoms marketed in Pakistan by DKT International, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that promotes family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention in the developing world.  While the stars of the ad say they’re being told it will be back on the air in a few days, contraceptive commercials are rare in Pakistan, where the fear of a conservative backlash usually means advertisers avoid the subject altogether.

— Bailey Cahall 

 

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