Thursday, October 10, 2013

Squandered chance: Bail for Musharraf

With the SC granting bail to Pervez Musharraf in the Akbar Bugti case, the legal thicket that the former president and army chief found himself in upon his return to Pakistan continues to clear, presumably opening a path to his exit from Pakistan for a second time. Unhappily, though perhaps predictably, the legal thicket Mr Musharraf had been dragged into had little to do with the central problem of his rule: that it was illegitimate from the very beginning. Instead, the former military strongman has been pursued on other fronts: the dismissal of judges in November 2007; the assassination of Benazir Bhutto; the Lal Masjid episode; and the Akbar Bugti death. To be sure, each of those episodes was deeply troublesome and created a host of political and security problems from which the country is still struggling to recover. But legal liability and culpability is a separate matter from disastrous decisions with devastating consequences. Seen from the perspective of what best strengthens the democratic and constitutional system in Pakistan, it was Mr Musharraf’s overthrow of an elected government in 1999 for which he most obviously ought to stand trial. Of course, while the former army chief may have been the face of the new regime in 1999, there were many others who both abetted his takeover and validated his rule. Those other individuals too have much to answer for. So why has Mr Musharraf so far escaped having to answer the most obvious of charges? The answer appears to lie in a combination of the old order still having much influence and the new, democratic order being unable to muster the courage or conviction to take up the past that truly matters. Since Mr Musharraf’s exit in 2008, the country has gone some way in shutting the door on extra-constitutional takeovers. But whatever the practice of continuity and the cleaned-up text of the Constitution may offer, it would send a powerful message to have the protagonists of a military takeover held to account in a court of law. Sadly, that chance appears to have been squandered.

Foreign donors urged to help bar Afghan rights violators from polls

Afghanistan's aid donors should use their leverage to force the government to ban human rights violators from competing in a presidential election next year, a human rights group said on Wednesday. Afghanistan's allies will be hoping the election, due next April, will set the country on a firm path to stability as it takes over responsibility for its security with the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of 2015. Among the candidates who registered for the election by a Sunday deadline are several who have faced accusations of rights abuses during many years of war and turbulence. The U.S-based group Human Rights Watch called for rights violators to be excluded as candidates. "Had the Afghan government in the last decade properly addressed crimes of the past, several current candidates would now be disqualified from seeking office - or would even be serving time," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Foreign donors should press the Afghan government to ensure future elections are not being contested by serious rights abusers." One political leader accused of rights violations, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in an apparent response to public pressure, this week took the unprecedented step of apologising for past bloodshed. He has been accused of mistreatment that led to the death of enemies during the civil war in the 1990s and early the next decade. "I want to be step ahead on this path and say that I apologize to all those who have suffered on all sides in the conflict," Dostum said on his Facebook page. The apology did not convince some. An analyst for the Afghanistan Analysts Network think-tank said it was aimed at forging an alliance for the polls. "The statement was overtly linked to the election," wrote the analyst, Kate Clark. The election is considered the most crucial since the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001, with more than a decade of Western-led reforms resting on its outcome amid increasing Taliban violence. President Hamid Karzai is barred by the constitution from running for a third term but his older brother, Qayum, has registered as a candidate. Foreign concern about Afghanistan was underscored last week when Norway took the rare step of cutting aid on the grounds that Afghanistan had failed to meet commitments to protect women's rights and fight corruption.

Four killed, 30 hurt in Quetta blast

At least four persons were killed and several others injured in a blast near city police station in Liaquat Bazar on Thursday. Police and rescue teams reached the sport and the wounded were shifted to hospital while emergency was declared in Civil Hospital. According to police, the bomb was implanted in a motorcycle. Security forces cordoned off the area and started search operation. Earlier, an explosion killed one person and injured several others near a restaurant in busiest area of Lahore’s Old Anarkali. Meanwhile, another explosion targeting polio team at Peshawar’s Ring Road injured three Khasadar Force officials.

Malala beats Snowden, wins EU human rights prize

The Express Tribune News
Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban last year for campaigning for better rights for girls, won the European Union’s annual human rights award on Thursday, beating fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. Malala, 16, who was attacked in northwestern Pakistan by a group of gunmen who fired on her school bus, is also a favourite among experts and betting agencies to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is given by the European Parliament each year since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. Its past winners include Nelson Mandela and Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Snowden had been nominated by the Green group in the parliament for what it said was his “enormous service” to human rights and European citizens when he disclosed secret US surveillance programmes. Yousafzai was chosen as the winner after a vote among the heads of all the political groups in the 750-member parliament.

Pakistan Tightens Internet Controls, Civil Surveillance

In recent years, Pakistani authorities have been blocking some websites accused of blasphemy or threatening internal security. But critics say those efforts are expanding, and the government is trying to shape online political discussions, curbing the public's access to information and broadening online surveillance.
The Internet is popular in Pakistan. Those who can, spend hours on social media or watching music videos, Hollywood updates, movies, sports and news. But try clicking on YouTube, and it all grinds to a halt. YouTube is banned in Pakistan. Pakistan's government blocked YouTube after riots broke over a video lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. Internet user Muhammad Iqbal said he agreed with the initial ban. But that it has gone on too long. "Right now, this ban is totally useless. And I think the government must take steps to take off the ban on YouTube and go forward," he said. According to the latest Freedom House report, Pakistan currently blocks not only YouTube, but also a number of social media and communication apps and sites with political, social and religious content. It is also expanding its surveillance capacities. Critics said the government has used religion and national security as reasons to block an array of political and progressive content and shape how Pakistan citizens understood their world.
Activist Furhan Hussain of the media advocacy group Bytes For All said his group was involved in two court cases against the government for its censorship and surveillance activities. "Censorship is just not right in any form. Moral policing is just not acceptable when it comes to adults living in a democratic setup. The noose around the communication and the civil society is being tightened by the day, the shrinking civil society space is very obvious. I don't think this is going to put an end to terrorism, rather it's just going to be counter-productive to a very nascent democracy," said Hussain. Students at the private Springboard School in Rawalpindi, outside the capital Islamabad, have mixed feelings about the government blocks. They wanted the freedom to see music videos or academic lectures, but some supported banning what they said was blasphemous or politically contentious content. But Hashir Mehmood said banning sites like YouTube would only drag Pakistan's development down. "Other countries can get more information and they can become better than us. We want to become better of our own problems. But when the YouTube is down, if it's blocked, what's the point? We want to learn," said Hashir Mehmood, a student at Springboard School. Earlier this month, a provincial minister threatened to ban Skype, Viber, and Whatsapp and other social media sites. Those who know how, use proxies to evade the website bans. It is less easy to avoid the surveillance software that activist Hussain says is now filling the Pakistani cyberspace. Government officials did not respond to VOA attempts for comment.

Girls in Pakistan see Taliban victim Malala as heroine

Four years ago, Palwasha Yousafzai longed to go to school. It was early 2009 and the Taliban was in control of the villages of the Swat Valley. The Islamist group had banned all types of entertainment, including television, radio and music and forbidden local women from going shopping and girls from attending school.
"Every day I would stand near the window pane and wait for an opportunity to go out of the house," recalled Palwasha, 14, now a seventh-grader at Al Razi School and College Kanju in Swat. "I lost interest in revising my schoolwork, especially knowing that hundreds of girls' schools were already burned down and that I had little hope of going back to school," she said. What gave her hope, she said, was a blog written anonymously by a teenage Pakistani about the trials of being a girl in a strict Muslim country. That girl, Malala Yousafzai, was attacked a year ago by the Taliban for her words, and is a candidate this year for the Nobel Peace Prize. The winner of the prize will be announced Friday. "In that turmoil, it was (Malala's) diaries on BBC that became the voice for many girls like me," Palwasha said. Many schoolgirls like Palwasha in Malala's home region are crossing their fingers, saying she should win, and hoping she'll do so against possible contenders such as WikiLeaks leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
That's because Palwasha, who hails from a farming family, says Malala is someone who showed girls like her that they could go to school, have a future even though things seemed so bleak back when Taliban ruled the lush Swat Valley after pushing its way into power in 2007. An offensive by the Pakistan military two years later largely drove the Taliban from the area. "In my family, women from the previous generations would help their men in the fields and not much importance would be given to their education," she said. "But now the tables have turned."Even so, there is much left to be done in the region and many local girls are hoping that if 16-year-old Malala wins the Nobel, it will raise awareness about how important it is for females to get educated: In Pakistan, only 40% of females can read. Purkha Gul, 16, a 10th-grader at the Swat Girls Model School likens uneducated females to ticking bombs for the country. She says educating girls is key to curbing terrorism, which she calls "the biggest challenge for our country."
"We remember how the illiterate women in our neighborhood gave their jewelry to the Taliban and sacrificed their sons, brothers and husband to fight against Pakistan's army because all they could understand was that the fight was for Islam," she said. Purkha also bitterly recounts how a friend died because she was female and local mores prevented her getting medical treatment in time. "She died just because the doctor was a male and the family wasn't willing to get her examined," she said. "This is what lack of education can do — it can cost lives." While Malala has been hailed internationally, some locals aren't as happy about all the attention surrounding the young activist. The Taliban this week reissued a threat against her life, which it tried to take when a Taliban terrorist shot Malala in the head in Mingora, Swat, one year ago Wednesday. The assassination attempt as she was walking from school made headlines worldwide. Malala's father, who ran a school for girls, was allowed to bring her to England for brain surgery and to repair her face. She has remained in that country ever since.Some locals in Pakistan call Malala a "U.S. agent" and the shooting episode a mere "drama" and wonder why she gets so much attention. "Why only Malala? … Why doesn't the world cry for those children who have been killed by U.S. drone attacks?" are questions typical of many on local social-networking sites. But analysts say that those voices are just threatened by what Malala stands for and is trying to change. "Those who so easily buy conspiracy theories about Malala being a U.S. agent or who go against Malala are usually the same people who you will find justifying the murderous, criminal acts of the Taliban in some way, absolving them of responsibility by pointing to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan or the drone attacks," said Beena Sarwar, a Karachi-based artist, journalist and filmmaker who focuses on human rights and gender issues. The United States continues to target Taliban and other extremists in Pakistan with missiles fired from drones, or small unmanned planes. The U.S. military has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden, who was protected by the Taliban. "These people conveniently forget that the mindset involved in the attack on Malala is the same as the one that was attacking female workers and teachers and girls' schools in the western border areas before 9/11," Sarwar said. The Taliban has often attacked schools that teach girls, which its clerics say is forbidden by God. Some authorities have reported the possible poisoning of food in girls' schools. "The textbooks, laws, and unofficial yet official narratives continue to promote it — and there is confusion because on the one hand Pakistan is fighting these criminals, and on the other we continue in some way or other to propagate their ideology," Sarwar said. The Pakistani military has been accused of cooperating with the Taliban, and has in the past cut deals with its militants giving them control over territory in return for cease-fires. But it has launched offensives against it in Swat, and some here say things are getting better, though slowly. In Mingora, Sovia Fazal, an 11th-grader at the Swat Children Academy, says her family encouraged girls' education and that she and her four sisters were treated equally with their two brothers within the family. "My father took serious interest in educating all his daughters – I study science and my elder sister is studying medicine in Swat," she said, admitting her family is unusual in local society. And that is why Sovia hopes Malala wins the Nobel Peace Prize — to make such opportunities the norm. "Last year when I first heard about the assassination, I was scared for Malala," she said. "Since then, I have just prayed for her safety and it's amazing how she has become even stronger. She is brave — and there is so much to learn from her."

Malala: a girl with a big story and bigger dreams

A year ago, 15-year-old girl was shot by a Taliban gunman. She survived and managed to take her campaign for girls' education international. And now Malala could soon become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The title of her book speaks for itself: "I am Malala: The Girl who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban." On the cover there is a portrait of the teenager wearing a headscarf. She has a serious expression on her face. On Tuesday, October 8, the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai was published - one year after she was attacked by the Taliban in her home town in Pakistan. On October 9, 2012, Malala was on a bus heading home after school with friends. She had been well-known in her native Swat Valley and had been a thorn in the Taliban's side. The daughter of a teacher, she had openly advocated education for girls - despite a ban placed by the Taliban. On that Tuesday after school, a Taliban gunman stormed into the bus, asking, "who is Malala?" and shot her in the head. At first, her condition was critical. Malala received an emergency operation after being flown to a military hospital in Peshawar. She was then transported to Islamabad for further treatment. Still in critical condition, she was flown to Britain, where she fought for her life for the next few months in hospital. Today, she lives there lives in Birmingham with her family.
Waking up as an icon
Thank God I'm not dead." Those were her first thoughts when she woke up from a coma around a week after the attack, Malala wrote in her book. She also wrote that she held no grudge against the man who shot her and that she did not want retribution. International media cosely followed the recovery of the 16-year-old girl, who had turned into an icon - a symbol of the fight against Taliban oppression. The Islamists admit that they had failed in their goal to silence her. And when Malala was able to address the UN nine months after her attack, she had a much larger stage than she or the Taliban could have ever imagined. The young Pakistani woman is celebrated in the West; she has received a number of prizes for her dedication. Among others, she won the International Children's Peace Prize in September this year and was also named Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience 2013. After giving her speech on her 16th birthday
before a specially convened youth assembly at the UN in New York in July 2013, she received an invitation from the Queen of England to visit Buckingham Palace. She has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be handed out this Friday, October 11 and is seen as a favorite among the candidates.
Fans and foes
"If she wins, it is almost like we all are winning," said Gul Panrha, a girl in the sixth grade from Swat Valley. Fazal Khaliq, a teacher at Malala's school in Pakistan, said he was proud of his former student. "Because of what she suffered, she did something good for her country; Swat Valley used to be synonymous with terrorism." He added that Malala was to thank because the world now knew that the Swat Valley was also home to peace-loving people with an appreciation for education. Not everyone in Pakistan, however, supports Malala. On the contrary: "after the attack, after she left the country and especially after she spoke before the UN, there has been a downright disgusting campaign against her," said Britta Petersen, head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation's Islamabad office. For months Petersen has observed mixed reactions among Pakistanis to Malala's campaign for girls' education - a very emotional topic for many. "Malala's father has been accused of instrumentalizing his daughter. He has been called a pimp and people have called her a 'whore of the West.'"
Utopian dream?
Ahead of the publication of her book, Malala Yousafzai gave an in-dept TV interview with the BBC. In it, she encouraged talks with the Taliban, saying they were "needed for peace." "The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue." She also said she wanted to return to Pakistan as soon as possible and get involved in politics. A goal that might prove unrealistic, said Britta Petersen. "At the moment it looks as though one of the reasons Malala is living in Great Britain is because it is simply too dangerous for her in Pakistan." With regards to Malala's dream of returning to her home and having a positive impact on the future of the country, the expert added: "it's not very likely to happen."

Tensions In Pakistani Town After Muslims Dig Up Hindu Grave
Tensions are mounting in a southern Pakistani town after Islamic fundamentalists dug up the grave of a Hindu man. Police said on October 8 that the unrest in the town of Pangrio in the southern Sindh Province flared after an Islamist party, Ahle Sunaat Wal Jamaat, objected to the burying of a Hindu man in a Muslim graveyard. Local police chief Shaukat Ali Khatian said a Muslim crowd dug up the body and dragged it through the streets of Pangrio. Hindus and Muslims have coexisted in Sindh for centuries. They have lived side by side and shared graveyards but the rise of Islamist extremists in rural Sindh has inflamed tensions. The province is home to most of Pakistan's small Hindu community. They number an estimated 2 million among a population of 180 million.

Lahore: One killed, several injured in Old Anarkali blast

A strong explosion occurred in the Old Anarkali area of Lahore Thursday morning that killed one person and injured many others, Geo News reported. According to the initial reports, a time device exploded in a restaurant in Old Anarkali area of Lahore that killed one man and injured several others who were shifted to Mayo Hospital for treatment. Three injured including a woman were said to be in critical condition, hospital sources told. Several nearby shops were also damaged due to the impact. Police told that the blast occurred in a local restaurant where the time bomb, weighing one kilogram, was fixed under the counter. Police and rescue teams reached the blast site immediately and kicked off efforts to shift the injured to the hospital.

Epidemic: Peshawar records first dengue cases

After infecting thousands of people in the rest of the province, dengue made its way to Peshawar where two cases were reported on Wednesday. Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) Communication Officer Farhad Khan told The Express Tribune the two people infected with the disease were brothers Muhammad Bilal, 26 and Bakht Jamal, 20, both residents of Gulbahar. Khan said the brothers were administered treatment and their condition is stable. He added 38 patients with dengue fever had been brought to the hospital from across the province. According to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Department, 340 patients are still admitted in various hospitals, while 30 people have died. According to official records, 7,242 cases of dengue have been confirmed from Swat, 112 from Mardan, 223 from Malakand, 111 from Lower Dir, 48 from Shangla, 31 from Mansehra, 20 from Buner, 18 from Abbottabad and five from Haripur. However, according to the district health office in Mingora, 81 new cases of the disease were reported by late Wednesday evening, increasing the total count to 8,040.
Around 49 dengue patients have been brought from Swat and Dir to the Hayatabad Medical Complex and 14 have been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital from Swat since the outbreak. Mingora Meanwhile, dengue fever claimed three more lives on Wednesday taking the official death toll to 30 and unofficial to 50. Twenty seven-year-old Farman Ali, a resident of Malookabad, died in Peshawar while 30-year-old Faisal Hayat, a resident of Mingora and 70-year-old Jamal Khan died in Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH). Furthermore, 51 dengue positive patients were admitted to the STH bringing the total number of patients registered with the hospital to 4,322. “Currently, 177 patients are hospitalised in STH including 126 males and 51 females. Around 25 patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, whereas one was referred to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar,” said STH spokesperson Dr Wasil Ahmed.

Pakistan: ‘Minorities treated unfairly in polls’

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan for not being fair with the issues faced by the minority voters and candidates. HRCP Director I. A. Rehman, launching the report titled, ‘Religious minorities in elections – equal in law not in practice’ said that extra efforts needed to be made by the political parties and the system to enhance the participation of minorities in election process. “Many reports of malpractices have been filed by the candidates belonging to minority communities at the election commission, but not much has been done for them,” Mr Rehman added. While lauding the joint electoral system, he said that the political parties still have to show maturity and field more candidates at general seats, “This has not done even in constituencies where the minorities are in a sizeable number.’ The report was based on the study of six national assembly constituencies, five in Sindh and one in Punjab. The report highlights that the voting pattern shows that the minorities have been voting on party lines and not on religious lines. But he added that there have been reports of prejudice, threats and structural problems faced by the minority members. “We have reports from certain areas that pamphlets were distributed by religious elements directing people not to vote for the candidate of minority community at general seat,” the Director HRCP added, “But no action has been taken against the persons by the authorities.” The report also highlights the security problems faced by the candidates of minority communities, but Mr Rehman also added that most of the issues were localised. “These oppositions were mainly class based and not based on religious grounds” he added and said there are reports that the upper class Hindus do not want to give chance to lower class Hindus to become politically active. Meanwhile, Hussain Naqi, senior member HRCP said that if the situation has to be change the Election Commission has to be more proactive in this regard. “They only had one liner policy statement for the minorities and that was - ECP will think about minorities in net five years.” Mr Naqi also criticised the policy makers of the country for distorting the history and said that the key role played by Christians in establishment of Pakistan has been deleted from the history books. “The key role by Christians in Punjab to get the province vote in favour of Pakistan has been forgotten – this is bad and it should not happen,” he added.

Musharraf: Bail for Pakistani Ex-Leader Paves Way for His Exit

By DECLAN WALSH- A Pakistani court granted bail on Wednesday to Pervez Musharraf, the country’s former military ruler, clearing the way for him to leave the country as early as Thursday, his lawyers said. Mr. Musharraf, 70, has been under house arrest at his villa outside Islamabad since April, facing criminal charges in three cases related to his nine years in power, from 1999 to 2008. The prospect of a former army chief facing potential imprisonment appeared, for a time, to signal new limits to the unofficial immunity from prosecution that Pakistan’s top generals have long enjoyed. Mr. Musharraf had already been granted bail in two of the three cases, and the decision on Wednesday to grant bail in the third — related to the death of Akbar Khan Bugti, a Baluch nationalist leader killed in a military operation — opens the door for him to avoid prosecution entirely. Mr. Musharraf’s lawyers said that his bail payment of $20,000 could be processed as early as Thursday morning; he could then leave Pakistan immediately. Ahmad Raza Khan Qasuri, the vice president of Mr. Musharraf’s political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, said that Mr. Musharraf might go to see his 90-year-old mother. “He’s a free person — he can go out whenever he likes,” Mr. Qasuri said in a telephone interview. “His mother, who is a very aged lady, lives in Dubai. He might go tomorrow or the day after to see her. But his base will continue to be in Islamabad.” Still, Mr. Musharraf has rebuffed previous entreaties from his advisers, and from senior military leaders, to leave Pakistan, particularly if doing so would prevent him from returning to fight his battles in court. Aides say that Mr. Musharraf, a former commando with a famous stubborn streak, insists on clearing his name and does not want to spend his retirement in exile. But for the military, his case has become an unwelcome distraction, complicating relations among the army, the civilian government and the courts, and raising the prospect of a troubling precedent. Mohammed Amjad, secretary general of Mr. Musharraf’s party, told reporters outside his home that if Mr. Musharraf leaves Pakistan, it will be only temporarily. “He will not escape from Pakistan,” Mr. Amjad said. Mr. Musharraf has been detained at his luxurious farmhouse outside Islamabad rather than in prison for security reasons, following Taliban threats to his life. Aides say he has been confined to two rooms in the house, which has a swimming pool and sweeping lawns, and has had limited access to his friends and family. Still, in a country where senior military officers are generally considered to be above the law, the sight of a former military ruler facing justice in a civilian court is a startling novelty. Besides the three current criminal cases, Mr. Musharraf faces potential treason charges over his role in suspending the Constitution in 2007, though few analysts believe that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to go ahead with those charges. Mr. Musharraf was disqualified from running in the general election in May, in which his party performed poorly. More generally, few Pakistanis have shown much enthusiasm for returning him to power. One factor in Mr. Musharraf’s present calculation might be the position of his nemesis, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, whom he tried to fire in 2007. With Mr. Chaudhry due to retire in December, analysts say that Mr. Musharraf might be waiting until then to decide whether his long-term future lies in or out of Pakistan.

Pakistan: Musharraf ‘free to move’ as court grants bail in Bugti murder case

Daily Times
The Supreme Court Wednesday granted bail to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the death of Baloch nationalist Akbar Bugti, his lawyers said, bringing closer his possible release after nearly six months of house arrest. Musharraf has now been granted bail in three major cases against him, including one relating to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. His lawyer said the ruling meant he was a “free man”. But he is likely to remain under heavy guard at his villa on the edge of Islamabad, where he has been under house arrest since April, because of serious threats to his life. Musharraf was head of state in 2006 when Akbar Bugti was killed during an army operation. His lawyer Ibrahim Satti said a three-member Supreme Court bench had granted bail in the Bugti case in return for surety bonds worth two million rupees. Another counsel for Musharraf, Qamar Afzal, said bail was granted due to lack of evidence. “Pervez Musharraf is a free man now after getting bail in the Bugti case,” Afzal said. As well as the Bugti and Bhutto cases, Musharraf also faces cases over the suspension of judges during emergency rule, which he imposed in 2007. The Taliban have threatened to kill the 70-year-old former general. After getting bail in the Bugti case, the sub-jail status of Musharraf’s residence will likely end as the court has already granted him bail in judges’ detention and Benazir murder cases. The bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani and Justice Musheer Aalam Khan, asked Musharraf to submit two surety bonds of Rs 1 million each. The court observed that substantial evidence was not available to establish that Musharraf was involved in the criminal conspiracy regarding the murder of Bugti. “This is a case of criminal conspiracy for which solid evidences are required, and due to their unavailability, there is no justification for rejection of the bail plea,” the court ruled. It asked Balochistan Additional Prosecutor General Tahir Khattak about the evidences which had been gathered against Musharraf and whether anyone had witnessed him conspiring against Bugti. Khattak told the court that according to the statements of co-accused, Musharraf had ordered action against Bugti. He stated that a CD recording was also available to prove this. Khattak said that Bugti was killed on the directives of Musharraf.

Pakistan: Federal, KP govts afraid of Taliban: ANP

The Spokesman for ANP Zahid Khan has said that both federal and KP governments are too afraid of Taliban, to criticise Taliban openly. Talking exclusively to Online on Wednesday , he said that hesitant attitude of both these governments had fostered, encouraged militancy and terrorism in Country , while he also challenged PTI to account for countless dead and wounded in KPK. He also acknowledged the helplessness of government to provide gas to masses due to depleted resources, while he defended the provision of commodity to household consumers as of being topmost priority of government; besides urging for paying more attention towards public transportation. He also confirmed that both Prime Minister and opposition leader have reached consensus over a recommendation for NAB chairmanship, which, considering the past 5-year dismal and obdurate record of only government’s whims, forcing regular opposition references in Supreme Court, was a good omen. Zahid Khan also expressed his annoyance over PTI’s reservations over almost everything, every issue, which PTI always translated into “hidden deals”. “Take our (ANP’s) example, having maximum reservations, complaints about polls-riggings, backed by adequate proofs; yet we did not allow democracy to be derailed, and accepted all results with an open mind and heart”, he said. He also berated government’s indecision and (yet) claims of progress in dialogue bid with Taliban, after every meeting with Maulana Fazl-Ur-Rehman, which was always denied by Taliban. “These very aspects were responsible for bombings and killings in KPK”, he complained, wondering “and who would be responsible for all the resulting destruction and mayhem”. He was chagrined over lack of understanding by both governments, about Taliban’s intention and reputation, who never even acknowledged the Constitution of Pakistan. “Earlier we were always told that we are fighting America’s war, so why don’t we simply call this American war off?” he lamented. He also said that PTI-led KPK government had no plans to block NATO supplies.

Malala Yousafzai: Accolades, applause and a grim milestone

By Ben Brumfield and David Simpson, CNN
A year ago Wednesday, Malala Yousafzai was riding the bus home from school when a Taliban gunman climbed aboard and shot her in the head. She nearly died. Now, the 16-year-old advocate for girls' education is a popular favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded Friday. To mark the anniversary of the shooting, her memoir, "I am Malala," came out Tuesday. The phrase has become a battle cry for the right to an education around the world.
The memoir follows her odyssey from near-death to global fame in just a year's time. It also gives a vivid account of her everyday life in Pakistan's Swat Valley and how she developed a love for education. Her public fight to get that education and for the right of girls to get one, too, is what put her at odds with the Pakistani Taliban. They banned girls from schools in the Swat Valley in 2009. Malala anonymously blogged for the BBC in opposition to that order, drawing the Islamist militants' rage.
New threat
The Taliban renewed their death threat against her Monday. Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the teenager was targeted because she was used in propaganda against the Taliban. "If there is any opportunity we can target, she would be on our hit list again." The Taliban have denied Malala was targeted for promoting education for girls. "Taliban are not opposed to girls education, if it's within the ambit of Shariah and Islamic education, but they could not support anti-Islamic agendas and Westernized education systems," Shahid said. The militant group destroyed over 170 schools between 2007 and 2009, the U.N. said. Malala answers In an interview with Malala on "The Daily Show" on Tuesday, Jon Stewart asked her what she would do if a Taliban assassin came calling again. "I'll tell him how important education is, and that I even want education for your children as well," she said Tuesday. And I would tell him, 'that's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'" Fighting the Taliban is important, but through peace, dialogue and education, she said. But the Taliban often prefer to let their guns do the talking. Malala has lived outside of her homeland ever since she was shot last year.
Her odyssey
The gunman who climbed on board that school bus wounded Malala in the head and neck. The driver hit the gas. The assailants got away.
Malala was left in critical condition.
Doctors fought to save her life, then her condition took a dip. They operated to remove a bullet from her neck, and as brain swelling threatened her life, a surgical team cut out a section of her skull to relieve the pressure. After surgery, she was unresponsive for three days. She was flown to the U.K. for intensive medical treatment and multiple surgeries to repair the damage the bullets had done. Doctors there covered the large hole in her skull with a titanium plate. Malala has kept the piece of skull that had been removed as a souvenir of her fight. It is nothing short of a miracle that the teen education advocate is still alive and even more astounding that she suffered no major brain or nerve damage.
Global stage
The attempt on Malala's life propelled her and her cause onto the global stage. Beyond her hospital room in her new home in the UK, a world sympathetic with her ordeal transformed her into a global symbol. An avalanche of support poured in, including from world leaders. The U.N. started a global education program for girls called "I am Malala," the name she has chosen for her biography. This year, the Malala Fund was created to support education for girls around the world. She recovered and addressed the United Nations in New York on her 16th birthday, July 12. "They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed," she said. "And then, out of that silence, came thousands of voices."