Mar 24

Pervez Musharraf coming back today to ‘save’ Pakistan

Pervez Musharraf coming pakistan todayDUBAI: Former military ruler and current chief of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf embarked on his flight from Dubai to Karachi on Sunday.

He had earlier reached Dubai airport accompanied by his wife Mrs  Sehba Musharraf, who had arrived at the airport to see off the former president.

Talking to media persons before embarking on his flight Musharraf said that the was aware of the fact that the NOC, granted for his rally scheduled to be held in Karachi today, was cancelled and added that cancellation of the  NOC was acceptable only in case of security reasons.

He further said that he was aware of the latest threat issued by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in avideo released a day earlier.

At the press conference held earlier on Saturday, flanked by office-bearers of his party, the APML chief disclosed that he had been advised by the Saudi authorities not to return to Pakistan due to security concerns.

An entire Emirates flight was booked for Karachi, which will leave Dubai at 10.40am (PST) and reach Karachi at 12.40pm.

The foreign media at large has disregarded the even of Musharraf’s return to Pakistann. A number of Pakistani journalists will be accompanying the former president on his homecoming wheras the foreign media will be represented only by the BBC.

In contrast, many foreign journalists had accompanied former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on her journey from Dubai to Karachi that ended her exile.

Pervez Musharraf came into power in a bloodless coup as army chief of staff in 1999.

Following the elections in Feb 2008, he left the country after stepping down in August 2008, when Asif Ali Zardari was elected president after the murder of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.


Apr 16

PPP, PML-N agree to postpone Local Government elections

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have agreed not to push for local government elections ahead of the parliamentary polls scheduled for early next year.Election Top leaders from the country’s two largest political parties came to the consensus during their talks earlier this year which culminated in the unanimous passage of the 20th Constitutional Amendment.

Insiders from both sides confirmed to The Express Tribune on Sunday that withholding the local government elections – a system introduced by ousted military ruler Pervez Musharraf to devolve powers to the grassroots level – was part of the negotiations.

“We have agreed not to force the issue. We feared there would be political complications which should be avoided,” an official revealed.

On the surface, the talks were aimed at giving legal cover to the election of more than two dozen members of parliament (MPs) suspended by the Supreme Court — on the pretext that they were elected during the period when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was not complete, following the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment back in 2010.

Officials said that though the two parties specifically decided contours of the transition that has to take place after the fresh parliamentary polls later this year or by March 2013, an understanding on local government polls was also the outcome of the intense parleys that lasted for more than a week.

The revelation came three days after the Supreme Court asked all top legal officers of the provinces and the attorney general to submit a schedule for the local government elections.

Officials from both the PPP and PML-N, however, did not admit that there was “secret deal or understanding” to withhold the local government elections. Rather, they kept on pinning blame on each other for the delay.

PPP Punjab chapter leader Raja Riaz said that it was the provincial administration led by the PML-N that was shying away from seeking votes from people despite PPP’s willingness to accept the challenge.

He, however, did not specify why the PPP did not go for local elections in provinces other than Punjab.

“I can only talk about Punjab,” he said.

PML-N spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan said his party did not see any possibility of local government elections ahead of the parliamentary polls because the electoral rolls were not complete and the task might take ECP some more time.

He, however, denied that his party had any secret deals with the PPP to delay the elections.