Sunday, May 6, 2012
EDITORIAL:Now a long marchPML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif upped the ante during his address at Taxila, at the first rally of his party’s campaign to oust the Gilani government, by calling on the populace to be ready for a long march. Mian Nawaz wants Mr Gilani toppled primarily because he has been convicted for contempt of the Supreme Court, but also because the government’s record in office is poor. Mian Nawaz’s demands may be right or wrong, but the strong language he used, went beyond the parliamentary. While it might be said that the flow of feelings was such that he could only express himself by saying that the rulers only understood the language of force, this is to denigrate democracy itself, in which it does not suit the leader of the main opposition to use such language. More germane to the issue is his asking what the President and Prime Minister had done during their tenure. This is the question that all will be asking themselves as the elections, due in less than a year’s time, come closer. It might seem that the opposition is holding this series of rallies with the elections in mind, but Mian Nawaz has his attention focused on the $60 million in the impugned Swiss account, about which the Prime Minister was so adamant in refusing to write a letter to the Swiss, that he preferred to be convicted by the Supreme Court. By promising to get this money back, Mian Nawaz focused on the issue at the heart of this campaign. If only elections were the motive, the Swiss accounts might not have figured so prominently. Mian Nawaz related this to the Constitution. However, there is a need to carry out some self-accountability. The opposition has also to ask itself if it has done anything to help solve the common man’s problems, which range from price inflation to loadshedding, the latter becoming a pressing problem now that summer has started. The problems facing the average citizen also include deteriorating law and order, as well as a foreign policy that involves constant violations of sovereignty, shown by how the USA felt free to launch another drone attack in North Waziristan, both after its previous attack which killed schoolgirls and destroyed their school, and the supposed reset of relations after the Salalah massacre as well as the parliamentary joint sitting which was supposed to review them. Without a solution to these problems, neither government nor opposition might find it easy to interest people in the debate on democracy and constitutionalism. The issue has got to be seen by people as relevant to their concerns before they will come off the fence and join any movement trying to force the Prime Minister to obey the courts. The people have to see the government solving their problems or the government-in-waiting as having those solutions, if they are to move.
by Frud Bezhan, Fareba WahidiSahar Gul,
The Express TribunePrime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani
Daily TimesSeveral passengers, including three women and some children, were injured on Sunday when unidentified terrorists ambushed their coach on Tal-Parachinar Road near Urwala Frontier Corps (FC) Fort in Lower Kurram. The van carrying Shia passengers was on its way from Parachinar to Peshawar when the terrorists attacked it with automatic weapons. The incident sparked panic among the locals, who said the unabated acts of terrorism had raised serious questions about the efficiency of the FC and other security agencies. Toori and Bangash tribes summoned an emergency meeting after the incident, declaring it an attempt of genocide against the tribes. The elders of the tribes declared that the attack was part of a series of such incidents being carried out in the presence of FC troops, who merely stood as silent spectators. People of Lower Kurram had been left unprotected, they said. They expressed disappointment that the checkposts the government had promised to establish at the Tal Road in Lower Kurram were instead being established in less-threatened areas of Upper Kurram. The elders urged the government to deploy troops in Lower Kurram, saying terrorists had been carrying out their criminal activities in the area because of government’s failure to ensure proper security arrangements. They said if the government faced a shortage of troops, it could re-locate those in Bahrain area.
Hazara man among 3 killed in BalochistanA Hazara man was among three people killed in separate incidents of shooting in Quetta, Mastung and Hub areas of Balochistan on Sunday. In the first incident, unidentified armed men gunned down a man in Dasht area of Mastung. According to levies, the man identified as Muhammad Ali was sitting at his tyre shop when the armed men, riding a motorcycle, opened fire on him. Resultantly, he received multiple bullet wounds and died on the spot. Levies officials rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. A levies official said the man belonged to the Hazara community and that it was a sectarian killing. The Hazara Democratic Party has strongly condemned the killing of Muhammad Ali, saying that the government had failed to provide security to Hazaras. Separately, a man was killed in Hub, an industrial township of Balochistan. According to sources, unidentified armed men shot dead Kuda Baksh in Goth Haji Murad area of Hub. Police rushed to the spot and body was taken to a nearby hospital. A man was also gunned down in the Sariab Road area of the provincial capital. Police said gunmen, riding a motorbike, opened fire on the man near Faizabad area while he was on his way home. He died on the spot. The body was moved to the civil hospital. The attackers managed to escape.
dunya tvInformation Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said Nawaz Sharif has insulted the Charter of Democracy.In a statement in Islamabad on Sunday‚ he said the democratic government is only answerable to the people. The information minister said Nawaz Sharif wants to do politics on judiciary. Kaira said Seraiki province is eye sour for Nawaz Sharif. He said Nawaz Sharif should seek apology for his attitude towards judiciary in the past. He said gimmicks in politics will not work in 2012. He said wrong interpretation of constitution by the followers of dictators is not acceptable.
BREAKING NEWSFrance's interior ministry says voter participation reached 71.96% at 5pm Paris time on Sunday as Socialist favourite François Hollande challenges President Nicolas Sarkozy in a tight run-off vote.
Deutsche WelleVoter turnout by midday in the second round of presidential elections in France has been high. Latest opinion polls show President Nicolas Sarkozy headed for defeat against Socialist Francois Hollande. Interim figures announced on Sunday by the French interior ministry show that voter turnout at the second round of French presidential elections has been high, but not at record levels. The ministry said just over 30 percent of France's 46 million voters had cast their ballot by the midday stage, down from 34.11 percent in the run-off five years ago, but slightly up on last month's first round. The vote pits incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy against Socialist challenger Francois Hollande for a final time. Opinion polls suggest that despite making up some ground, Sarkozy is headed for an election defeat. According to the Ifop-Fiducial poll, Sarkozy has clawed back six percentage points of voter intentions since the end of last week when he went all out to win over those who voted for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round. Nevertheless, the last indicator published ahead of a Friday night deadline on campaigning forecast a 52-48 percent win for Hollande, which would make him France's first Socialist president in 17 years. But with the gap the narrowest since campaigning began, the president has vowed a surprise victory. If he loses, Sarkozy will become the first French president since Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1981 not to be re-elected. Economic crisis dominates campaign Sarkozy's popularity has waned during his five-year term over handling of the economic crisis and failure to rein in France's double-digit jobless rate. He has also attracted criticism for his apparent "flashy style." By contrast Hollande has vowed to be a "normal president."Since January, Hollande has led his campaign with promises to raise taxes, especially on high earners, and increase government spending. He has also said he wants to re-negotiate a European treaty on trimming budgets to avoid a debt crisis similar to that which Greece is now facing. In the first round of voting on April 22 the Socialist candidate secured 28.63 percent of the votes to Sarkozy's 27.18 percent. The far-right Front National's Marine Le Pen came in third place with almost 18 percent of the vote. In a setback to Sarkozy this week, Le Pen said she will cast a blank ballot in Sunday's vote. She has urged her supporters to do the same. Meanwhile centrist candidate Francois Bayrou, who came fifth in the first round, has pledged to back Hollande. Polling stations in France will be open on Sunday until 6 p.m. (1600 GMT), and two hours later in big cities.
Federal Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said the PPP will adopt a strategy after a detailed decision of the Supreme Court. Talking to the media on Sunday, he said the PML-N had old relations with the judiciary, adding that everybody had relations but they should not be misused. He said that nothing could be said until the detailed decision of Supreme Court. "We will file an appeal after the Supreme Court announces its detailed decision," he added. He said the party stood by Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, adding that after the detailed verdict of the Supreme Court and on his return from abroad, the prime minister would decide about his future plan according to his will. He said it would a difficult decision to pull out of Siachen. "It is an ego issue. If we pull out, families of the martyrs will raise questions," he added. "Elections will be held within six to eight months and would show the worth of every party. If we do not give right of way to Nato, we can face international restrictions," he added. He said Chaudhry Nisar should address the issue of the Election Commission. When asked about Pak-US defence deals, he said Pakistan had asked the US for joint and coordinated drone attacks but Washington refused. He said the future of Babar Awan was like an ordinary lawyer, adding that he had taken some things for granted. To a question, he said the defence budget would not be reduced and "we will try to balance it." Federal Minister for National Heritage and Integration Samina Khalid Ghurki, Adviser to PM Aslam Gill and Shaukat Basra were also present.