President, PM, political leaders condemn varsity blasts

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari, prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and various political leaders have strongly condemned bomb explosions here in the Islamic University on Tuesday.

Pakistan Muslim League (N) quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) leader Pir Sadruddin Shah, MQM quaid Altaf Hussain and Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan also condemned the incident.

Besides, governor and chief minister of Sindh – Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad and Qaim Ali Shah strongly condemned the explosions.


President, PM condemn bomb blast in Shangla

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday strongly condemned the attack in Shangla, Swat and expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of life and property.

In separate messages, the President and the Prime Minister expressed their resolve not to be deterred by such acts of wanton terror saying the government remains committed to eliminate the extremists and terrorists.

President, PM congratulate Indian election victors

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani leaders on Friday congratulated India’s Congress party-led alliance on their recent election victory and pledged their continued commitment to peace, the foreign ministry said.

‘Please accept my heartiest congratulations on the victory of the Congress party in the recently held general elections,’ President Asif Ali Zardari said in a message to All India Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi, which was released to media, AFP reports.

‘May I also take this opportunity to assure you that Pakistan remains committed to peace and prosperity in South Asia and will continue to work with India to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries peacefully and in a just manner,’ Zardari said.

Gandhi’s Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won 262 seats in India’s 543-seat parliament and, with the support of allies, has enough to form a government.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a separate message to his counterpart Manmohan Singh, who was due to be sworn in later Friday, said that his government remained committed to working with India ‘in addressing the common challenges that beset our region.’

President, PM hail restoration

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have expressed satisfaction over restoration of the judiciary and ‘the dawn of political reconciliation among the major parties’ which will steer the country on the path of democracy and stability.

In their messages on the completion of one year since restoration of democracy, they said the PPP government had been pursuing a policy of reconciliation.

The prime minister said: ‘The recent political crisis generated due to a misperception about restoration of the judiciary has been managed due to our continuous reliance on politics of reconciliation.’

On the external front, he said the government had foiled attempts to isolate Pakistan from the comity of nations.

President Zardari said people could look back on the past year with satisfaction on many counts. ‘They can also look to the future with hope as their elected government steadily but surely moves on with accommodation, reconciliation and development as its guiding principles.’

He said an important development at the end of the first year of the government had been the restoration of all deposed judges of the superior courts to their pre-Nov 3, 2007, position.

President wants Chinese model of agriculture in Pakistan

WUHAN: President Asif Ali Zardari Saturday said that Pakistan wants to benefit from Chinese experience and technology in the field of agriculture for enhanced production that will help his country in overcoming the grain shortage.

“I am very impressed with China’s development in Agri-sector and we want to emulate the same success in Pakistan,” President Zardari said here in his address to China Hubei-Pakistan Agriculture and Water Resources Cooperation Forum.

The president said that Pakistan and China have always enjoyed cordial relations and expressed the hope that his visit will further strengthen these ties particularly in the fields of agriculture and hydro electricity sectors.

He said the prime objective of his visit, the second in four months, was to learn from Chinese model of agriculture and development of hydro electricity projects.

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Kyrgyz president signs law closing US base

BISHKEK: Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed into law on Friday the closure of a key US military supply base for Afghanistan, his press office said, making good on a decision that shocked Washington.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favour of the bill to close the Manas air base outside the Kyrgyz capital, with 78 out of 81 lawmakers present voting in favour. One MP voted against and two abstained.

The US military will have 180 days to remove its soldiers and equipment from the base once, as officially notified by the government. Bakiyev’s announcement last month of the closure came after Russia offered more than two billion dollars in aid to the struggling Kyrgyz economy. The government has insisted that Moscow did not set the closure as a condition.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in Poland that the US would not pay beyond a “reasonable” amount to use the Manas base and said the vote would not be “the last word.””I think we are prepared to look at the fees and see if there is a justification for a somewhat larger payment, but we’re not going to be ridiculous about it,” he said. “We’re prepared to do something that we think is reasonable.” The United States pays 17.4 million dollars a year to use the strategic air base, which serves as a vital hub for moving troops and supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

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President, PM condemn D. I. Khan blast

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday strongly condemned the blast in D I Khan that killed and injured several people.

The President and the Prime Minister said the government would not bow down to the extremists, militants and terrorists and would take all necessary measures to establish the writ of the government.

President Zardari said such acts of violence; bomb blasts and terrorism were a serious threat to the country and directed local administrations to take strict measures so that no such incidents recur.

Prime Minister Gilani taking a strong note of the tragic incident sought a report from the provincial government. He said the government was committed to ensure law and order across the country.

He directed that law enforcing agencies to ensure strict security measures at all large gatherings and investigate the matter to bring the perpetrators to justice.

They also directed the provincial authorities to provide best possible medical care to the injured.

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Militancy great threat to democracy: President

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has stressed the need for standing united against the militancy and militants, which is a great threat to democracy.

“A great threat to democracy comes from militancy and militants who want to impose their political and ideological agenda through bullet instead of ballot. We must stand united and not let them succeed”, President Zardari said in his message on the first anniversary of February 18 elections.

“Tolerance, reconciliation and dialogue have illumined our path on the road to democracy after the February 18 elections last year.

“We will continue to be guided by these principles in our long haul in dealing with all those who will respect the Constitution and rule of law and who seek to bring change through ballot instead of bullet,” the President stated.

President Zardari complimented the people of Pakistan particularly all political parties and workers who waged a heroic struggle and offered huge sacrifices to force the dictatorship hold elections.

“On this occasion our thoughts go to those hundreds of martyrs of democracy led by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who laid down their lives for the cause. Their cause was to make the usurper relinquish power and give it back to the people.

“They are our heroes and heroines who will continue to shine on the canvas of time and inspire generations even in a distant age and clime. But for their sacrifices we may not have witnessed democracy as is witnessed today”, he added.

The President reiterated the commitment to preserve, protect and enhance democracy; not to let anyone usurp the rights of the people and not to let dictatorship strike again.

“On this day let us reiterate our commitment to preserve, protect and enhance democracy. Let us vow not to let anyone usurp the rights of the people; not to let dictatorship strike again.”

The President said this requires rededication to the principles of parliamentary democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law, adding, “We all must join hands to make the Parliament the embodiment of the will of the people truly strong and supreme.”

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Uganda president fires FM

KAMPALA: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni fired his finance minister and moved his energy minister in a cabinet reshuffle that brought on board his wife and kept key loyalists.

Yoweri replaced finance minister Ezra Suruma with Sydda Bumba and appointed his wife, Janet, as a minister for the remote Karamoja region.

Ex Indian President Venkataraman passes away

NEW DELHI: Former President R Venkataraman passed away on Tuesday in New Delhi.

“His general condition has progressively deteriorated since admission despite intensive medical and nursing care,” Commandant of Army Hospital (Research and Referral) Lieutenant General O P Mathew said earlier in the day.

The 98-year-old former President was admitted to the hospital on January 12 with complains of Urosepsis (a toxic condition caused by the extravasation of urine into bodily tissues).

He was suffering from multi-organ failure and was on advanced life support systems including ventilator support, continuous hemodialysis and drugs to keep his blood pressure normal,” Mathew said.

Venkataraman had served as the eighth President of the country. His tenure was from July 25, 1987 to July 25, 1992.

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