Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pakistan grills Manawan attack suspects

LAHORE: Pakistan on Tuesday questioned four suspects, including an Afghan, captured during a police academy siege on the outskirts of Lahore. Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik talked about possible 'foreign hands.
The attack took place near the border with India.
Police, who have been widely criticised as the 'soft' target for extremists attacking the security forces in Pakistan, enforced heavy security for the funerals and armed commandos deployed on rooftops around the building.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband condemned the attack and pledged international help to root out the extremist threat.
'The attack is yet another reminder of the threat that Pakistan faces from violent extremism,' he said.
The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, a non-governmental group, said Monday's attack — just weeks after the attack in the same city on the Sri Lankan cricket team — underscored the urgent need to strengthen the police.
Pakistani officials said that attack bore the hallmarks of the November 2008 siege in Mumbai, blamed on Pakistani militants, which killed 165 people.
Analysts said the latest attack was a firm message to Obama, who has put Pakistan at the heart of the fight against al-Qaeda, tripling US aid in a strategy aimed at reversing the war in Afghanistan.

SC restores Shahbaz Sharif as CM Punjab

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued a stay order on Tuesday against the disqualification of Pakistan Muslim League-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif. Mian Shahbaz Sharif has been restored as Chief Minister of Punjab immediately following the issuance of the stay order.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice Tassaduq Jilani, heard Sharif brothers eligibility case. According to the verdict, till the apex court’s hearing and decision into Sharifs’ case, Shahbaz Sharif would continue serving as chief minister Punjab.

Financial Crisis Dominates G-20 agenda

This week's London Summit brings together the leaders of the world's 20 largest economic powers, known as the Group of 20, to discuss the global financial crisis and decide new measures to set the world on a more stable economic footing.
Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi are among world leaders attending this week's G-20.
Other members are Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
Brown has called on world leaders to resist embracing "protectionism" and commit to a coordinated three-pronged strategy to rebuild the economy:
• To reform and strengthen the global financial and economic system to restore confidence and trust
The G20 Economies
Argentina Australia Brazil
Canada China European Union*
France Germany India
Indonesia Italy Japan
Mexico Russia Saudi Arabia
South Africa South Korea Turkey
United Kingdom United States

Invited participants:

Mehsud claims responsibility of Manawan attack

PESHAWAR: The chief of Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, on Tuesday took responsibility for an attack on a police academy in Lahore.

"Yes, we have carried out this attack. I will give details later," Mehsud, an al Qaeda-linked leader based in Waziristan tribal region told foreign news agency by telephone.

On Monday, Interior Advisor Rehman Malik in a press conference point out the involvement of Baitullah Mehsud in Manawan attack.

US Gen. hints at striking targets within Pak as ‘Last Resort

The commander of U.S. Central Command was interviewed as the Obama administration prepares to step up the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Asked about lingering concerns that Pakistan is not fully on board, Petraeus told media that the U.S. military is putting "additional focus" on rooting out ties between Pakistan's intelligence service and the Taliban. There appears to have been a warning prior to a Pakistani operation," Petraeus said.

But he said trust between the two countries will be key as President Obama seeks more Pakistani cooperation and calls for billions in aid to the country.

The Pakistanis have expressed frustration over unmanned U.S. drone strikes to take out terrorist targets inside their border.

Manawan attack martyred policemen Nimaz-e-Janaza offered

Manawan attack martyred policemen Nimaz-e-Janaza offered
LAHORE: The Nimaz-e-Janaza of the seven policemen, who yesterday were martyred in Munawan police centre, offered here today.
Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, Federal Minister, Manzoor Watto, Punjab IG, Lahore CCPO including other high police officials besides the relatives of the martyrs and a large number of citizens attended the Nimaz-e-Janaza held at the police line.

Following the burial prayers, a guard of honour was presented to the ‘Janazas’ of martyred and Punjab Governor laid the wreathes on the ‘Janazas’

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chief Justice of Pakistan Restored

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani early Monday morning announced reinstatement of the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges.

“I restore the deposed chief justice and others according to the promise made by me and the President,” Gilani said in a televised address to the nation.

The announcement, in light of the directive of President Asif Ali Zardari, met the main demand of the political parties and the lawyers’ community.

He said, “A notification to this effect is being issued now.” He said Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would replace Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, who retires on March 21.

Gilani said and pledged to “continue the politics of reconciliation.” The deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was removed from service by former President Pervez Musharraf on March 9, 2007, sparking a wave of protest that led to his resignation from his office on August 18, 2008.

The prime minister also announced reinstatement of other judges of the Supreme Court and said the number of judges for the apex court has already been increased through legislation to accommodate the reinstated judges.

The prime minister also announced that the federal government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking reversal of the order of disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, and addressing all issues in light of the Charter of Democracy.

“I invite them to move forward along with all political forces for the implementation of the Charter of Democracy,” Gilani said.

He asked the provincial governments to lift the Section 144 immediately and release the arrested persons. He said the PPP had made a lot of contribution to the lawyers’ movement and rendered numerous sacrifices. He said shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had pledged to reinstate the deposed Chief Justice.

Gilani said President Asif Ali Zardari also pledged to do the same.

Gilani recalled that soon after securing a heavy mandate from the parliament he had announced the release of the detained judges and also restoration of their emoluments.

The prime minister said the decision was taken in consultation with the allies.

Gilani also greeted Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, lawyers, political workers, and civil society on this auspicious occasion and asked them to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.