PPP CEC meeting reposes trust in Zardari

NAUDERO: A special session of the central executive committee and the federal council of the Pakistan People’s Party held here on Friday night paid rich tribute to the dynamic leadership of its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari presided over the meeting in the presence of Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The meeting reposed confidence in the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari.

The co-chairperson was authorised to decide whether or not the party should join the Punjab government.

Makhdoom Amin Faheem and estranged party stalwarts Aitzaz Ahsan and Senator Safdar Abbasi did not attend the meeting. Party’s secretary-general Jehangir Badar said that Aitzaz’s membership had been suspended so he could not attend the meeting, but invitation had been sent to Dr Safdar Abbasi.

‘You better ask Dr Abbasi why he did not participate in the meeting,’ he said.

Badar said that suspending the membership of Aitzaz Ahsan was nothing unusual because anyone violating party discipline would meet the same fate. He said that Naheed Khan was not a member of the CEC.

The meeting offered fateha for Z.A. Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and senior party leader from Balochistan Jan Mohammed Jamali.

The meeting pledged to carry forward the mission of its founder and accomplish the mission of Benazir Bhutto in accordance with the Bhutto philosophy.

Regarding the investigation into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Badar said a team of the UN commission had arrived in Pakistan. He said the government and the PPP would fully cooperate with the UN probe commission.

He said that after the death of Z.A. Bhutto, Benazir led the PPP bravely with conviction and commitment and worked for 30 years for the country’s progress and prosperity.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the killers of Z.A. Bhutto had harmed the country and inflicted a severe blow on democracy. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the same forces. He said the dictatorship had caused an irreparable loss to democracy.

He said that terrorism was dangerous for the whole world and pledged that a day would come when it would be eradicated with people’s help and there would be peace in the country.

He expressed his firm resolve to steer the country out of the current crisis and to accomplish the ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ mission of Benazir Bhutto.


Country has no future without free judiciary: Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that PML (N) will fully support the long march of lawyers’ on March 9 and that the deposed judges should be restored without any further delay.

Addressing a press conference at the Punjab house, Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML (N) endorsed Charter of Democracy (CoD) so that the people of Pakistan could be empowered. He said the constitution was always violated by the dictators to serve their own agenda and that the creation of Pakistan was not meant to give indemnity to dictators and Martial laws.

Nawaz said that the 17th Amendment should be abolished; “Even the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) has tabled a bill in the parliament for its abolition”, he added. He further said that his party had given the 18th Amendment draft to Mian Raza Rabbani in this regard.

Responding to a question, Nawaz said he and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto discussed the CoD in Jeddah and that there was complete unanimity of views on the restoration of judiciary, ensuring the supremacy of constitution and strengthening democracy in the country. PML (N) leader said an independent judiciary could steer Pakistan out of present crises, he said that the government should restore all deposed judges.

source : jang.com.pk

President for a roundtable of former cricketers to revive the game

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Monday while calling to make cricket a vehicle of national integration by holding inter-regional matches, urged veteran cricketers to convene a roundtable for revival of the game at national level.

Addressing a prize distribution ceremony here at the President House to give away prizes to winners of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Memorial Cricket the President recalled that Pakistan once led the cricket world and won several international laurels. He however regretted that over the past few years, the quality of the game had declined and there was a need that veteran cricket players, coaches and captains sit together to formulate a strategy for its revival. President Zardari extended full support of the government in this regard and said cricket “can serve as a vehicle for greater national integration by holding more inter-regional and inter-provincial matches.” He said the roundtable should come up with recommendations for launching cricket across the country at school and college level, so that young and fresh blood is inducted, that can be groomed and trained for serving at the national level. The President suggested that the large corporations sponsor teams at different tiers to cultivate young cricketers who can win laurels for the country.

The President earlier distrib0uted trophies and souvenirs among the participants of the cricket matches, organized by Shaheed Z. A. Bhutto sports society, with Pakistan Cricket Control Board as the patron. The Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Memorial Cricket Championship matches were played on league basis in Islamabad, Lahore, Hyderabad and Karachi by sixteen national teams. The final in Islamabad was won by Rawalpindi Cricket Association against the Port Qasim Trust Authority team. National level teams from PIA, HBL, NBP and other organizations participated in the matches.

source : jang.com.pk

PM Gilani terms eastern borders situation as fragile

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has termed the suspension of Pak-India composite dialogue as regrettable.

Addressing a seminar and later talking to media here, Prime minister said the situation at eastern borders is once again turned fragile. Pakistan had showed unwavering commitment to peace with India. Global community must play its due role to defuse the tension between Pakistan and India. India has rejected the proposals of formation of joint commission.

He said three martial laws had damaged the country. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had scarified their lives for democracy. Pakistan has adopted a multi dimensional strategy in war against terror. Pakistan is playing a key role in war against terror and attacks on Pakistani soil would affect the war.

PM Gilani said Kashmir issue should be resolved according to desires of Kashmiris and implementation of UN resolution is necessary for regional peace and stability. Global community must not relate Kashmiri movement with terrorism.

Later, talking to media, premier has termed the news of rift between him and President Asif Zardari as baseless and said President Zardari has sacked the advisor of National security Mahmood Durrani on his advice.

Replying to question, PM said India has provided a 52 pages dossiers to US CIA that was handed over to ISI and he has received feed back of ISI.

source : jang.com.pk


Naheed Khan denies rift with party’s leadership

LAHORE: PPP leader Naheed Khan denied Monday she had any dispute with the party’s leadership, but added that she had some differences about the system under party was being run.

Lawyer’s leader Aitzaz Ahsan questioned why government was awaiting the United Nations’ response to unmask the assassins of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto.

Addressing a seminar organized to pay homage to the PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on his 81st birthday, Naheed Khan said party was owned by the workers only. The reinstatement of deposed chief justice was the commitment of slain PPP leader, she commented, adding that the issue be debated in the Parliament.

Senator Safdar Abbasi said several party’s leaders were sitting at their homes over security risk that was against the political ideology of Benazir Bhutto. He urged to minimize the widening gap between workers and leadership.

source : jang.com.pk

Bhutto’s daughter sings of pain in hip-hop tribute

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The elder daughter of Pakistan‘s assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has written a rap song expressing her anguish over her mother’s death.

The song, entitled “I Would Take the Pain Away,” and a five-minute video of clips and photographs of Benazir Bhutto has been broadcast on the state-run Pakistani television and posted on the video-sharing website YouTube.

“My mother was murdered. I don’t even comprehend. Was it worth dying for? I’m walking through screened doors,” Bakhtawar, 18, sings in English on the lilting hip-hop song.

“No comfort or ease. I’m begging you please God bless the deceased,” Bakhtawar sings.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman, for years an aide to Bhutto, said Bakhtawar, a student at Britain’s Edinburgh University, wrote the lyrics and music.

“It’s a tribute of a grieving daughter to her iconic and loving mother,” Rehman told Reuters on Monday.

Music was a hobby for Bakhtawar and she had no plan to pursue it as a career, Rehman said.

Bhutto, 54, was murdered in a suicide gun-and-bomb attack in the city of Rawalpindi in December 2007. The then government, led by former president Pervez Musharraf, blamed the attack on Islamist militants.

Bhutto’s widower and Bakhtawar’s father, Asif Ali Zardari, become president in September.

Their son, Bilawal, 20, studies at Oxford University in Britain and another daughter, Aseefa, 15, also studies abroad.

(Reporting by Kamran Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Jerry Norton)

source : news.yahoo.com

Tens of thousands mark anniversary of Bhutto death

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan – Wailing and beating their chests, tens of thousands of people paid homage to Benazir Bhutto Saturday on the one-year anniversary of her assassination — an event that dashed U.S. hopes the moderate Muslim politician would regain power and galvanize the campaign against al-Qaida.

The commemoration came amid heightened tensions with India over the Mumbai terror attacks and a Pakistani troop buildup along their shared border, though Pakistan’s leaders used the occasion to call for peace.

“We don’t want to fight, we don’t want to have war, we don’t want to have aggression with our neighbors,” Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said in a televised speech.

Tensions rose between the nuclear-armed neighbors after Delhi blamed Pakistani militants for last month’s three-day rampage in India’s financial capital and edged higher Friday with Pakistani intelligence officials saying the army had deployed troops toward the Indian border.

India’s foreign minister urged Pakistan to focus on fighting homegrown militant violence and avoid “war hysteria.”

“I appeal to Pakistan and Pakistani leaders, do not unnecessarily try to create tension,” Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. “Do not try to deflect the issue. A problem has to be tackled face to face.”

Mukherjee has accused Pakistan before of trying to divert attention away from what many analysts say is a halfhearted attempt to rein in homegrown militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India accuses of masterminding the Mumbai attacks.

Bhutto’s widower, President Asif Ali Zardari, did not mention the troop movement in a speech honoring his wife, but insisted Pakistan was battling the “cancer” of terrorism.

“We ourselves have accepted that we have a cancer. Yes we will cure it,” said Zardari. “They (terrorists) are forcing their agenda on us.”

Zardari took over the party after Bhutto’s death and was elected president in September, vowing to maintain her legacy and return the country to democracy after almost ten years of military dictatorship.

“We will take Pakistan forward following the path of our martyr Benazir Bhutto,” Zardari told a gathering of party activists and her family close to the mausoleum.

Many of Bhutto’s mourners had walked for hundreds of miles (kilometers) in the bitter Pakistani winter to her family mausoleum, where they jostled for a chance kiss her grave or toss rose petals.

“We have an unconditional attachment and love for Benazir,” said Nazir Ali, a 35-year-old donkey cart driver who had hiked for 15 days. “I am tired, but will keep trying to get into the mausoleum to have a glimpse of her tomb.”

Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-suicide bomb attack on Dec. 27, 2007, as she was leaving a campaign rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, just outside the capital of Islamabad.

She was campaigning to return her Pakistan People’s Party to power in parliamentary elections — a scenario supported by the United States and other Western governments, who liked her mass appeal among the country’s 160 million people as well as her secular credentials.

Despite her legions of admirers in the West — where she studied and spent years in exile — some at home alleged her two previous terms as prime minister were tainted by corruption and general misrule.

Zardari said his late wife “gave voice to the voiceless, strength to the weak and motivation to the people to strive for a goal higher than life.”

Many mourners were angry no one has been punished for the murder. “We are ashamed that your killers are alive!” they shouted.

The government of then-President Pervez Musharraf blamed Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani militant commander with reported links to al-Qaida. A Mehsud spokesman has denied any involvement.

The United States also said Islamic extremists carried out the attack.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials said Friday that elements of the army’s 14th Infantry Division were being redeployed from the militant hotspot of Waziristan to towns close to the Indian border.

The military plans to shift a total of 20,000 soldiers — about one-fifth of those in the tribal areas, the officials said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The army, which has canceled all military leave, has refused to comment on specific troop movements.


Associated Press writers Babar Dogar and Sam Dolnick contributed to this report from Lahore and New Delhi.

source : news.yahoo.com

PM Gilani says I desire BB were Premier today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said he was not mentally prepared to be the chief executive of the country and wished that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto were the Prime Minister. Sharing his thoughts with media on the late charismatic leader, Prime Minister Gilani said, however, it all depends on destiny.

“At the party’s CEC meeting in Karachi, we had passed a resolution that none of us would be a candidate for the Prime Minister-ship except Benazir Bhutto and I had moved that resolution,” the Premier said.

Gilani recalled that two days before her death he met Mohtarma in Multan while she was returning after addressing a public gathering in Muzaffargarh.

He said they together went to Multan airport, as there were still two hours for her next flight to leave for Rawalpindi and they discussed a number of things pertaining to the coming elections and the political situation.

source : jang.com.pk

Govt. fails to keep BB’s promises: Aitzaz Ahsan

GARHI KHUDABAKHSH: Former President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan has said that government has not honored the promises made by Benazir Bhutto in her lifetime.

Expressing these views while addressing the media after offering Fateha Khawani at the mausoleum of Benazir Bhutto, he said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had promised to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary but it could not be fulfilled after passing the whole year after her death.

He said that there was no chance of fulfilling this dream of her in near future either.

source : jang.com.pk

President plays down tensions with India

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari minimized cross-border tensions with India in a speech Saturday on the eve of maiden death ceremony of former Premier Shaheed Mohterma Benazir Bhutto, telling citizens democracy and dialogue will end discord and increase regional stability.

“The solution to the problem of the region, the solution to the problem of Pakistan … is politics, is dialogue because politics is part of the cure, not part of the problem,” Zardari said, speaking at a memorial service for his late wife, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

“We have issues? Yes, we have issues. We have non-state actors? Yes, we have non-state actors. Yes, they are posing an agenda on us. We ourselves have accepted we have a cancer. We will cure this cancer ourselves.”

Zardari delivered the national address from Naudero, the Bhutto family home in Larkana. It comes amid escalated tensions between India and Pakistan following reports on Friday that Pakistan had redeployed military resources on its eastern border with India.

Details of those troop movements, however, remained murky on Saturday. US media National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said a Pakistani official told him 20,000 soldiers had been moved from the Afghanistan border toward the Indian border. That amount, he said, was not significant, as Pakistan has a very large army.

“It’s a way of signaling the Indians, you know, a unilateral Indian strike into Pakistan is going to be unacceptable to Pakistan,” Bergen said. “The reason that’s serious, of course, is that Pakistan and India have fought three major wars in the last six decades.”

source : jang.com.pk