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পাকিস্তান পরিস্থিতি ৭

May 23, 2013

২৭ এপ্রিল ২০১২, শুক্রবার

পাকিস্তানের প্রধানমন্ত্রী ইউসুফ রাজা গিলানির বিরুদ্ধে সুপ্রিম কোর্টের রায়ের দিন ডন পত্রিকার অনলাইন সংস্করণে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে আরেকটি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ টাইমলাইন : Judiciary vs executive।

Supreme Court of Pakistan, on April 26, found PM Gilani guilty of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the president, but gave him only a symbolic sentence of 30 seconds detention in the court room.

বিস্তারিত : Timeline: Judiciary vs executive

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২০ জুন ২০১২, বুধবার

গিলানিকে নিয়ে জুডিসিয়ারি ও এক্সিকিউটিভের দ্বন্দ্বের অবসান হল গতকাল, ১৯ জুন ২০১২, সুপ্রিম কোর্ট গিলানিকে প্রধানমন্ত্রী হিসাবে অবৈধ ঘোষণা করে রায় দিল। পড়ুন টাইমলাইন : Judiciary vs executive। দেখুন ও পড়ুন মাল্টিমিডিয়া : Gilani’s journey: From conviction to disqualification

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২১ জুন ২০১২, বৃহস্পতিবার

এখন এটা সত্যিই টেনিস কোর্ট! পাকিস্তানের ক্ষমতাসীন দল পিপিপি সরকারের প্রধানমন্ত্রী পদের জন্য মনোনীত সংসদ সদস্য মখদুম শাহাবুদ্দীনের বিরুদ্ধে গ্রেপ্তারি পরোয়ানা জারি করেছে পাকিস্তানের সুপ্রিম কোর্ট। লিন্ক : Arrest warrant issued against Makhdoom Shahabuddin

Arrest warrant issued against Makhdoom Shahabuddin

Makhdoom-Shahab-ud-Din-670

Makhdoom Shahabuddin. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Shahabuddin in the ephedrine quota case, DawnNews reported.

President Zardari had nominated Shahabuddin as a candidate for the new prime minister. He had also filed his nomination papers for the slot on Thursday.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) issued warrants against Shahabuddin, Musa Gilani and one other person.

Earlier on June 7, Regional Director of the ANF Brig Fahim Ahmed Khan had told the Supreme Court that the ANF had widened its inquiry against Shahabuddin who he said had ordered the local conversion of ephedrine after Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharma (Pvt) Ltd failed to export asthma drugs to Afghanistan.

The ephedrine scam had come to light in April when the ANF informed a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, that the ephedrine quota worth Rs7 billion was given to two Multan-based companies on the pressure of an influential person.

The case was registered on October 10 last year after two pharmaceutical companies – Danas Pharmaceutical and Berlex Lab International – were held responsible for obtaining export quotas for the drug in collusion with the health ministry officials that exceeded the limits fixed by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

The INCB had fixed a quota of 22,000kg of ephedrine for Pakistan for 2010-11, but the ministry of health allocated a quota of around 31,000kg after devolution.

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৪ জুলাই ২০১২, বুধবার

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 560-12
July 03, 2012

Secretary Panetta’s Statement Regarding the Opening of the Ground Lines of Communication

“I welcome Pakistan’s decision to open the ground lines of communication. As I have made clear, we remain committed to improving our partnership with Pakistan and to working closely together as our two nations confront common security challenges in the region.”

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৪ জুলাই ২০১২, বুধবার

US to free up $1.1 billion for Pakistan military

WASHINGTON: The United States will release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan’s military as part of a deal that will see Islamabad lift a blockade on NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan, a US official said on Tuesday.
The money, from a US Coalition Support Fund designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations, had been withheld due to tensions between the two countries and Islamabad’s closure of the supply routes after an attack on Pakistani border posts by NATO forces in November last year which led to the killing of 24 Pakistani troops. Pakistan and the United States announced earlier that the border would be opened once again to NATO convoys. The Coalition Support Fund is often the subject of wrangling between the US and Pakistani officials, with Islamabad’s claims often rejected and smaller sums approved by Washington for reimbursement.
The $1.1 billion that will be freed up under the border deal does not include large sums that Pakistan says it is owed, said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is the amount that has been approved and already gone through the process,” the US official told AFP. The Coalition Support Fund is reimbursement to Pakistan for expenses incurred and compensation for facilities made available to the coalition forces in Afghanistan. afp

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৪ জুলাই ২০১২, বুধবার

Timeline: History of US-Pakistan relations

Timeline: History of US-Pakistan relations

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, left, speaks as US President Barack Obama listens.—AP Photo

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, left, speaks as US President Barack Obama listens.—AP Photo

United States of America remains one of the first countries to have established diplomatic ties with Pakistan. Although the relationship dates back to October 20, 1947, it can be extrapolated that the relations have been based strictly on military and economic support.

During the initial years of Pakistan, the country had the options of building allegiance with Soviet Union or United States, however, Pakistan opted for the latter.

1950-1953:
Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan visited United States to meet president Harry S Truman. It is alleged that during PM Khan’s first visit to US, president Truman requested Pakistan’s premier to let the CIA formulate a base in Pakistan, strictly to keep an eye on the activities of Soviet Union—a request which was not granted by Khan.

Throughout the course of these years many officials from Pakistan such as commander-in-chief Ayub Khan, foreign minister Zafrullah Khan, foreign secretary Ikramullah, finance minister Ghulam Muhammad, defence secretary Sikander Mirza and special envoy Mir Laiq Ali visited US, aiming to receive financial aids from the country.

1954:
Pakistan signed Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States in May. Under the agreement, many Pakistani soldiers went to United States for training whereas US also established a Military Assistance Advisory Group (Maag) in Rawalpindi.

1956:
President Dwight Eisenhower requested prime minister Suhrawardy to lease Peshawar Air Station to the American Army for keeping an eye on soviet Union and its ballistic missile programme. The request was granted by the prime minister.

1960s:
During the decade, the pro-American sentiments in Western side of Pakistan were at an all time high. However, the military and financial assistance was directed more towards West Pakistan, which caused an uproar and feeling of distrust in East Pakistan.

Ayub Khan allowed United States to fly spy mission to Soviet Union from Pakistan’s territory and accompanied by his daughter visited United States of America.

United States increased the amount of aid Pakistan was designated to receive from the consortium of Pakistan, half a billion dollars of which were lost in 1965’s Indo-Pakistan war—war staged to cause a rebel in Indian occupied Kashmir. The war also led US to place economical and military embargoes on Pakistan, which resulted in an economic collapse.

1971-1974:
Being an important ally for US during the cold war, United States supported Pakistan, despite the arms embargo. Pakistan also assisted president Richard Nixon in making his first visit to Peoples’ Republic of China.

During 1971’s war, US is speculated to have provided Pakistan with arms and military aid, in order to discourage India from penetrating further into the cities of Pakistan because losing Pakistan meant losing an important ally in the soviet war.

Moreover, as per the elections result, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was elected as the president of Pakistan and later on became the prime minister in 1974.

Although Bhutto was considered a socialist, he was a close and respected friend of president Nixon, which went in Pakistan’s favour.

1976-1979:
President Jimmy Carter, an anti-socialist, won the presidential election of US and announced to seek a ban on nuclear weapons.

Bhutto lost the favours he enjoyed whilst Nixon was US president as Carter did not appreciate his policies and tightened already placed embargoes on Pakistan. However, Bhutto managed to procure items to enhance his atomic bomb project. President Carter and his administration allegedly threatened Bhutto to disrupt the process of atomic proliferation and research to which the latter did not agree, leading to his differences with the Americans.

1979-1988:
During Zia ul Haq’s regime, Pakistan and United States enjoyed a warm and congenial relationship, which was primarily based on military ties and advancements. During the decade, US, along with CIA and ISI, launched billions of dollars worth of operations to prevent Soviet forces from further advancing into the region.

It is during this period that United States granted billions of dollars to Pakistan in the name of military and economical aid. By the year 1981, Pakistan was discussing a $3.2-billion aid package with United States and in 1987 Pakistan became the second largest recipient of aid after Israel.

However, by the end of General Zia’s regime, Congress adopted Pressler amendment. The amendment banned major military and economical aid to Pakistan unless the state was able to justify and provide sufficient evidence that the funds are not being used for nuclear proliferation.

However it is alleged that although Pakistan disclosed that it could enrich uranium and assemble a nuclear device in 1984 and 1987 respectively, the sanctions were not imposed till 1990.

1990:
US, under the Pressler amendment, imposed sanctions on Pakistan, as the country by then had lost its strategic importance in soviet war.

1992:
The relations between US and Pakistan plummeted further when US ambassador Nicholas Platt, warned Pakistan of being included into state sponsors of terrorism list, in case it continued to support militants causing trouble in India.

1995:
Benazir Bhutto visited United States and requested president Bill Clinton to lift the embargoes on Pakistan and launch a joint operation to eradicate militancy from the region. As a reaction to Bhutto’s proposal, Brown amendment, which provided for the delivery of $368 million of military equipment purchased but not received by Pakistan before the imposition of Pressler amendment sanctions in 1990, was passed; however, the sanctions on arms were not lifted.

1998:
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif conducted nuclear test in Balochistan, in retaliation to similar tests conducted by India, which invited the wrath of Clinton’s administration on both the countries. President Clinton imposed sanctions under Glenn amendment on India as well as Pakistan.

Glenn amendment included suspension of aid, including economic development assistance, credits and credit guarantees by the US government, US bank loans to the governments of India and Pakistan, loans from international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, and exports of dual-use nuclear or missile items.

However, in July of 1998, US lifted the sanctions on both the countries for purchasing agricultural products from US farmers. Later in the year President Clinton exercised his waiver on lifting restrictions on the activities of US banks in Pakistan.

2001:
After the 9/11 attacks and US’s invasion in various countries to eradicate militancy, Pakistan became one of the most important strategic allies for United States.

Initially Pakistan tried to strike a negotiation deal with Taliban and al Qaeda members to handover Osama bin Laden to American authorities. However, when negotiations failed, Pakistan allowed American army to use its military bases for launching attacks on Afghan soil.

However, President Pervez Musharraf confessed that the country had no option but to support United States as it had threatened Pakistan of “bombing it into stone age” if it did not join the fight against al Qaeda.

Simultaneously in 2001, US officials introduced a bill to lift all the sanctions, previously imposed on Pakistan under Pressler and Glenn amendments.

2003:
United States officially forgave $1 billion worth of loan it had granted to Pakistan in a goodwill gesture and appreciation for Pakistan’s cooperation.

2004:
President George Bush officially declared Pakistan as a non-Nato ally granting it the authority to purchase strategic and advanced military equipments.

Since 2004, US army has launched various drone strikes on the north-western side of the country. The drone strikes aim to target Pakistani Taliban and supporters of al Qaeda, however, the strikes have also resulted in latge civilian deaths and caused much opposition from Pakistanis.

2007:
A report was issued in which Pakistan was accused of using aid money provided by US to Pakistan for its cooperation on war on terror, for strengthening its defence against India.

2008:
The trust, on both sides, has been missing since the war on terror started as US on several occasions has accused Pakistan Army to tip the Taliban and pro-Taliban factions off on US operations.

In the June of 2008, an air strike by the US Army killed 11 paramilitary soldiers of Pakistan Army Frontier Corps, along with eight Taliban. The strike and deaths instigated a fierce reaction from Pakistani command calling the act to have shaken the foundations of mutual trust and cooperation.

2009:
President Musharraf confessed that the billions of dollars of aid that Pakistan received from United States, for being a partner in war against terror, were diverted and channelled in order to build better defence mechanism against India.

The famous Kerry-Lugar Bill, which invited much controversy and criticism, was passed in the October of 2009. The bill entailed the approval of granting $7.5 billion of non-military aid, if the command of the country accepted certain condition. The bill clearly showed US’s distrust in Pakistan’s military command and considered Pakistani Taliban more threatening than Afghan Taliban, amongst many other essential points.

2010:
In the beginning of the year, Pakistan Army in a joint operation with US intelligence agencies captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a famous Taliban commander, from the tribal belt of Pakistan. The success of the operation was hailed by the United States and Pakistan was praised for its utmost cooperation.

2011:
In the beginning of 2011, Raymond Davis, a CIA agent in Pakistan killed two Pakistani men in Lahore, claiming that they came to rob him. Davis was taken into custody for killing civilians, however, American officials claimed that he was entitled to diplomatic immunity and must be released immediately.

Raymond Davis was later acquitted of the murder charges and was sent to United States.

In the May of 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation conducted by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

President Barrack Obama claimed that the information pertaining to the operation conducted in Abbottabad was not shared with Pakistan Army. However, ISI claimed that the operation was conducted jointly, a claim which was blatantly denied by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Since the war on terror started in 2001, Pakistan has received an estimated amount of $20 billion from United States; however, in the wake of OBL’s raid US withheld $800 million of aid to Pakistan.

US-Pakistan relations plummeted again when 24 Pakistani soldiers died in an air strike by the US Army. Afghan and US officials claimed that the firing was a result of the attack launched from the Pakistani side of the border, however, the Pakistani military and government denied the claims.

As a result of the attack, Pakistani government ordered US army to evacuate Salala air base which was being used to launch offensive on Taliban and militants. Moreover, the government also halted Nato supplies for United Sates.

2012:
Since the beginning of 2012, various political parties along with the military command of the country, met and held discussions on restoring Nato supplies. Diplomats from United States also tried to reduce the friction.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the supplies were blocked without any pressure and will be restored with consensus.

Moreover, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Pakistan to reopen Nato ground supply routes to Afghanistan. However, Rasmussen also said that Pakistan had not been invited to the crucial 25th Nato summit to be held in May in Chicago.

Simultaneously, US Senator John Kerry, a leading proponent of US aid for Pakistan, said that Pakistan needs to be more cooperative, in order to eliminate Taliban sanctuaries from the country.

However, top Pakistani leaders decided to meet on May 15,  in order to discuss ending a blockade of foreign military supply routes into Afghanistan and repairing US relations, signaling a rapprochement ahead of a Nato summit.

Simultaneously, in a sudden shift in events, Nato, on May 15, said that it will invite President Zardari to the alliance’s summit in Chicago, after the country’s foreign minister proposed reopening its Afghan border to Nato military supplies. President Zardari accepted the invitation and decided to attend the summit.

However, on May 18, US lawmakers in the House of Representatives debating the National Defence Authorisation Act voted 412-1 for an amendment that could block up to $650 million in proposed payments to Pakistan unless Islamabad lets coalition forces resume shipment of war supplies across its territory.

However, on the same day, four containers laden with supplies for the US Embassy in Kabul crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan via Torkham border post.

A local official while confirming supplies to the US Embassy via Torkham said he could not say when the cargo had been transported.

“Pakistan government has never put restriction on the transportation of supplies for the diplomatic missions, including the American Embassy in Kabul,” a senior official, who was dealing with the matter, said.

“Ban on the transportation of Nato supplies is still intact.”

Simultaneously President Zardari arrived in Washington on May 19 to attend the Nato summit in Chicago. However, both the countries were unable to strike a conclusive deal on the restoration of Nato supplies as the summit ended.

leaders-pose-for-a-picture-in-Nato-summitIn a fresh warning to Pakistan, a Senate panel on May 23 approved a foreign aid budget for next year that slashes US assistance to Islamabad by more than half and threatens further reductions if it fails to open supply routes to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Sen Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and the chairman of the subcommittee, and the panel’s top Republican, Sen Lindsey Graham, said money for Pakistan was cut 58 per cent as lawmakers questioned Islamabad’s commitment to the fight against terrorism.

Moreover, the Senate Appropriations Committee, on May 24, voted to cut aid to Pakistan by a symbolic $33 million – $1 million for each year of jail time handed to Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who allegedly assisted the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in finding Osama bin Laden.

However, the United States agreed to reimburse $1.18 billion or almost 75 per cent of the claims Pakistan has submitted for the expenses incurred in the fight against militants along the Afghan border.

The approval showed that despite increased tensions, the US financial assistance to Pakistan has continued although it is becoming increasingly difficult to get congressional support for helping Pakistan.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, on June 7, said that the United States was running out of patience with Pakistan over safe havens of insurgents who attack US troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Panetta spoke after talks with Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak on the latest leg of an Asian tour that has taken him to India, but not Islamabad in a sign of how dire US-Pakistan relations are.

On June 8, US Assistant Defence Secretary Peter Lavoy arrived in Islamabad, in a fresh attempt to bring an end to a six-month blockade on Nato supplies, crossing into Afghanistan.

However, on June 11, the United States withdrew negotiators from Pakistan after talks failed to produce a deal on reopening vital Nato supply routes into Afghanistan. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, still sounded optimistic and said that the return of an American negotiating team from Islamabad, where it worked with Pakistani counterparts on revival of the Nato supply routes, does not represent an institutional US pullout.

Moreover,  Panetta ruled out an apology over an air strike last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and badly set back efforts to improve US-Pakistani ties, saying it was “time to move on.”

Gen John Allen, the top commander of American and Nato forces in Afghanistan, visited Pakistan on Wednesday, amidst heightened tensions between the two countries.

The agenda of the talks remained to restore Nato supply routes and cross-border attacks launched on Pakistani soil from Afghanistan.

Pakistan, on July 3, agreed to reopen key supply routes into Afghanistan ending a bitter stand-off after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was sorry for the loss of life in a botched air raid.

A US official said that as part of the deal Washington will release about $1.1 billion to the Pakistani military from a US “coalition support fund” designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations.

Moreover, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on July 8 that the United States and Pakistan were putting past tensions behind them to focus on the future, after meeting her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in Tokyo.

It was the first meeting between Clinton and Khar since the two countries last week struck a deal to re-open supply routes, closed for seven months following a US attack in which 24 Pakistani soldiers died.

President Barack Obama, on July 17, named Richard G Olson to be the US ambassadors to Pakistan, tasking him with shaping highly sensitive relationships after US troops pull out.

The US commander in Afghanistan Gen John Allen visited GHQ to hold talks in Pakistan on August 2 for the first time since Islamabad ended a seven-month blockade on Nato supplies destined for the 10-year war effort.

Moreover, Pakistan received $1.1 billion dollars from the United States for its fight against militants, the first installment of its kind since December 2010 on the same day.

The agenda of the meeting was focused on improving security along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman met with Congressman Dan Burton on August 3, a Republican from Indiana, and discussed ways to enhance Pakistan-US relationship.

The United States and Pakistan reached an understanding on joint operations against the Haqqani network on August 5, However a joint decision could not be agreed upon.

The sources said the issue of cross-border attacks, by the Haqqani network into Afghanistan and by TTP into Pakistan, was discussed in a series of meetings between senior US and Pakistani officials during the week.

The US State Department confirmed on August 23 that an American diplomat had a meeting with Pakistani officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad as Pakistan lodged its first formal protest with the United States over drone strikes.

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৫ জুলাই ২০১২, বৃহস্পতিবার

হায় পাকিস্তান, হায় ইসলাম তোমার এই উগ্রতার শেষ কোনোদিনই কি হবে না?

পাকিস্তানে ধর্ম অবমাননাকারী আখ্যা দিয়ে এক ব্যক্তিকে থানা থেকে তুলে নিয়ে পুড়িয়ে হত্যা করেছে উন্মত্ত জনতা।

পাঞ্জাব প্রদেশের ভাওয়ালপুলে এই ঘটনা ঘটে বলে বিবিসি জানায়।

মুসলিমদের পবিত্র গ্রন্থ কোরান পোড়ানোর কথিত অভিযোগে ওই ব্যক্তিকে আটক করে পুলিশ। কিন্তু উন্মত্ত জনতা তাকে পুলিশের কাছ থেকে ছিনিয়ে নিয়ে হত্যা করে।

প্রত্যক্ষদর্শীরা জানিয়েছে, উন্মত্ত জনতা লোকটিকে পোড়ানোর সময় শত শত মানুষ তা দেখেছে। সাহায্যের জন্য ওই ব্যক্তি কাতর মিনতি জানালেও তাকে রক্ষায় কেউ এগিয়ে যায় নি।

পাকিস্তানের বিতর্কিত ধর্ম অবমাননা আইনে ইসলামকে ব্যঙ্গ করলে তার শাস্তি মৃত্যুদণ্ড বলে নির্ধারিত রয়েছে। দেশটিতে প্রায়ই এই আইনের সুযোগে অন্য ধর্মাবলম্বী ও ব্যক্তি শত্র“তার জেরে লোকজনকে ফাঁসানো হয়ে থাকে।

যে অঞ্চলে ওই ঘটনাটি ঘটেছে, সেখানে সা¤প্রদায়িক গোষ্ঠী পরিচালিত শত শত মাদ্রাসা রয়েছে।

পুলিশ জানিয়েছে, ওই ব্যক্তি কোরান অবমাননা করেছে বলে স্থানীয়রা অভিযোগ জানালে তারা তাকে গ্রেপ্তার করে। কিন্তু ওই অভিযোগ তদন্তের আগেই হাজারো উন্মত্ত মানুষ থানা ঘেরাও করে বলে পুলিশ জানায়।

পুলিশ ইন্সপেক্টর গুলাম মহিউদ্দিন বিবিসিকে বলেন, “তারা ওই ব্যক্তিকে তাদের সামনে আমাদের হত্যা করতে বলে, তা না করলে তারা তাকে নিয়ে গিয়ে হত্যা করবে বলে শাসায়।”

কিন্তু থানার কর্মকর্তারা নানাভাবে জনতাকে নিয়ন্ত্রণ করতে চেষ্টা চালায়। এমন কী তাদের ছত্রভঙ্গ করতে টিয়ার গ্যাসও ব্যবহার করে। উন্মত্ত জনতার সঙ্গে সহিংসতায় বেশ কয়েকজন পুলিশ সদস্য আহতও হয়েছে।

পুলিশ যেন কোথাও যেতে না পারে সেজন্য তারা রাস্তায় ব্যরিকেড সৃষ্টি করে। মহিউদ্দিন বলেন, উন্মত্ত জনতা হিস্টিরিয়াগ্রস্তের মতো আচরণ শুরু করে। শেষপর্যন্ত তারা ওই ব্যক্তিকে থানা থেকে তুলে নিয়ে যেতে সক্ষম হয়।

কোরান অবমাননার কথা স্বীকার করার পর ব্যক্তিকে যথেচ্ছ পেটানো হয়, ছুরিকাঘাত করা হয়। এরপর উন্মত্ত মানুষেরা তার গায়ে পেট্রল ঢেলে আগুন ধরিয়ে দেয়।

পুলিশ জানিয়েছে, তারা ওই ব্যক্তির পরিচয় জানার চেষ্টা করেছে। তবে লোকমুখে যতটুকু জানা গেছে, নিহত ব্যক্তি মানসিকভাবে অসুস্থ ছিলেন।

এক কর্মকর্তা বলেন, “কী ঘটতে যাচ্ছে সে ব্যাপারে ওই ব্যক্তির কোনো ধারণাই ছিল না।” তিনি আরো বলেন, “যখন তাকে কারাগারে নিয়ে আসা হয় তখন সে হাসছিল আর গান গাইছিল।”

এই মামলায় বিষয়টি ‘অজ্ঞাত ব্যক্তিদের হামলা’ বলে উল্লেখ করা হয়েছে। এ ব্যাপারে এখনো পর্যন্ত কাউকে গ্রেপ্তার করা হয় নি।

লিন্ক : ধর্ম অবমাননা: পাকিস্তানে এক ব্যক্তিকে পুড়িয়ে হত্যা

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১৩ জুলাই ২০১২, শুক্রবার

PPP not to go for caretaker set-up if PM remove

President Asif Ali Zardari signed into law on Thursday the Contempt of Court Bill, 2012, adopted by both houses of parliament.

Meanwhile, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided against going for a caretaker set-up even if Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is also removed, like his predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani, by the Supreme Court under contempt charges.

Sources in the PPP said President Zardari discussed the situation with the heads of allied parties on telephone after the Supreme Court decision which gave the deadline of July 25 to Prime Minister Ashraf for writing a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening money laundering case against the president.

“The government will not go for announcing a caretaker set-up for the next general elections even if Prime Minister Ashraf is removed by the apex court,” a senior PPP leader said.

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told Dawn that the situation was vague at the moment and it was not easy to comment on ‘ifs and buts’.

But he ruled out the possibility of early elections and a caretaker set-up. “We have so far not even thought about a caretaker set-up,”
he said.

Responding to a question, he agreed that the PPP was holding consultations with heads of allied parties to chalk out a line of action in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

The prime minister’s spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said the government would go for an appeal against Thursday’s judgment of the Supreme Court.

The sources said the ruling coalition had decided that the government would not write a letter to the Swiss authorities even if Prime Minister Ashraf was also removed like Mr Gilani.

A source quoted President Zardari as saying: “I have three more candidates for prime minister’s office if Raja Pervez Ashraf is removed.”

It is learnt that the coalition is hopeful that Prime Minister Ashraf will continue to serve as head of the government for another three or four months even if the contempt of court law which has been challenged in the Supreme Court is revoked.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q spokesman Kamil Ali Agha said his party believed that both the judiciary and the government should exercise restraint.

Otherwise, the whole system will be derailed.

He said the government did not intend to go for a caretaker set-up even if the prime minister had to leave his office.

The new contempt law which came into effect with the assent of the president exempts the prime minister and parliamentarians from proceedings on charges of contempt of court.

Although legal experts have differing opinions about the law, they believe it cannot be revoked before July 25 when the apex court can take action against the prime minister for not obeying its order.

“I think it will not be so easy for the court to revoke the new law in 13 days,” Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood said.

He said the law was likely to continue to exist till July 25 and in that case it would be difficult for the apex court to remove Prime Minister Ashraf.

Justice Tariq said the court had powers to strike down the law as had happened in the Hasba Bill case.

“But in this case the PPP will make a hue and cry and may come to the streets to protest against this move of the court,” he said.

Senior lawyer Hamid Khan said the court would take some time to ascertain whether the new law was in line with the Constitution.

============================

১৫ জুলাই ২০১২, রবিবার

Asma Jahangir or Hussain Haroon as caretaker PM?
Don’t be taken in by the negative sound-bites. On the face of it, political forces seem to be struggling to succeed in the litmus test of managing the first transition from one popularly elected dispensation to another in the country’s history, and are fighting it out bitterly over all things major and minor.

However, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Amid feverish speculation on what will happen by the end of the month in the high-stakes confrontation between the government and the judiciary, which may see a second prime minister elected by parliament losing his job, the two largest political parties of the country are quietly but rapidly finalising an agreement.

The Express Tribune has it from credible sources that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are close to working out a political deal that would result both in naming a consensus caretaker prime minister and finalisation of a date for election to be held before the end of the year.

There are two candidates being discussed for the all-important post of caretaker prime minister, on which both sides have been holding discussions over the past 10 days. There is the soft, back-up option in Abdullah Hussain Haroon, currently Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations. Then there is the second, more sensational candidate under serious consideration: none other than Asma Jahangir, the former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

While no one from either the PPP or the PML-N is willing to officially come on record with this, unofficially key sources in the hierarchy of both parties confirm that talks on caretaker prime ministerial candidates and a date for elections are in advanced stages.

While refusing to either deny or confirm the names of Jahangir and Haroon as candidates, a member of the close circle of Sharif said, on the condition of anonymity advised patience for the short term. “Wait for two weeks and a lot will be clear, as well as some good news for all,” he said.

When approached, a source close to the presidency was equally assuring. “We have been talking [to PML-N] not for some days but for close to two months now and have whittled down some names that are generally agreeable to both [our parties],” he said. Again refusing to confirm or deny Jahangir and Haroon, the only additional information he offered was: “[The caretaker prime minister] will neither be from the PPP or PML-N, nor one who has been a member or leader of any other political party.”

The sources claim that Asma Jahangir is the current frontrunner not only because she is known for her vociferous stand for parliamentary supremacy and rule of law but, even more importantly, for her unambiguous stand against interference of the ‘establishment’ in the democratic process.

“In fact, the consensus [between PML-N and PPP] on Fakhruddin G Ebrahim [as the chief election commissioner] is closely linked to her (Asma Jahangir’s) candidacy under consideration by both parties,” a source in the PML-N said. “Both (Fakhruddin and Asma) have links to the legal fraternity, which respects them both, and which should come handy in dealing with any legal challenges that may be thrown by [Imran Khan’s] Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf during the tenure of the caretaker government to seek support of the judiciary in queering up the electoral pitch,” he added.

Sources in the PPP, while careful in not confirming or denying Jahangir’s candidacy, indirectly revealed why she would be a good choice for them. “We don’t want an interim prime minister who can be amenable to pressure from the [Supreme Court] judges to write a letter to the Swiss authorities during the caretaker period seeking investigations against the president,” he said. “We want a caretaker prime minister who has no agenda of their own and one who can work well with the chief election commissioner in focusing on the one-point agenda of holding a free, fair and impartial election,” he added.

Sources in both parties agreed that the litmus test of the maturity of political forces is at hand. “We may have our differences, and some really strong ones at that, but all we want are the freest, fairest and most credible elections in Pakistan’s history and these can only be if, for the first time in our history, we, the political forces, and not the establishment, decide and implement the rules of the game,” a source in the PPP said. “We’ve made a solid start with the joint nomination of the CEC. However, pressure [from the establishment] is mounting and we can’t waste much time now. The elections will be held before the end of the year for which we need caretakers who can restore faith in democracy and politics and be the best advertisement for an election with a high turnout,” he added.

Sources also confirmed that Jahangir recently met Sharif and a close aide of the president while Haroon is scheduled to meet both Sharif and President Zardari over the next few days. Both are likely to be agreed upon as joint candidates with Jahangir as the first choice and Haroon as the covering candidate.

Sources also said that PPP allies have already agreed to leave it to President Zardari to make the decision on the nomination of a caretaker prime minister on behalf of the coalition. They also said that neither the PPP nor the PML-N want to drag out the nomination like in the case of the CEC and both the Leader of the House Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and the Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali would be meeting to put the official seal on “the political deal of the new millennium” in Pakistan “in two to three weeks’ time”.

“It’s going to be a win-win for all: the ruling parties, the opposition parties – both inside and outside parliament, and most of all for the people of Pakistan. The only loser will be the establishment, which usually steals the elections somewhere starting with the nomination of the caretaker prime minister and a malleable Election Commission. Not this time round,” added the source.

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