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Thread: Pakistani minister resigns after criticizing army

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Pakistani minister resigns after criticizing army

    Pakistani minister resigns after criticizing army
    By ZARAR KHAN, Associated Press Writer Zarar Khan, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 2 mins ago

    ISLAMABAD – Pakistan's federal minister for defense production resigned after being summoned by the prime minister to explain comments he made criticizing the army and accusing it of killing prominent politicians, officials said Sunday.

    Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi accused the army of killing several high-profile Pakistani figures, including ethnic Baluch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

    "We provided the army with uniforms and boots not so that they kill their own fellow countrymen, kill Nawab Sahib (Bugti) and Benazir Bhutto," said Jatoi during a televised press conference Saturday night in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani later summoned Jatoi to explain his comments. He told reporters Sunday that the minister made his statements "in his personal capacity, and within five or six hours he resigned."

    Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told local TV that Jatoi's comments were "against our policies."

    The army is widely considered the most powerful institution in Pakistan and it is risky for officials to criticize it. The military has carried out three coups against civilian governments in Pakistan and has ruled the country for much of its 63-year history.

    Bugti, the Baluch tribal leader, was killed in a August 2006 military operation. The 79-year-old's remote cave hide-out collapsed in an unexplained explosion while security forces were searching for tribal insurgents who fight for a larger share of natural resources extracted from impoverished Baluchistan. The exact details of Bugti's death are disputed.

    Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007 after speaking at an election rally in a garrison city just outside Islamabad. The military-led government at the time blamed the killing on the Pakistani Taliban, which stage attacks throughout the country from their sanctuary in the tribal areas near the Afghan border. Critics in Pakistan speculated that the nation's military or intelligence apparatus could have been involved in the killing, which the government refuted.

    The tribal areas also host a range of militant groups focused on battling NATO troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. has stepped up pressure on these groups this month by carrying out 19 missile strikes, including two on Sunday — the most intense barrage since the attacks began in 2004.

    In the first strike Sunday, a drone fired three missiles at a house in Datta Khel, part of the North Waziristan tribal area, killing three suspected militants, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

    Minutes later, a drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in the same area, killing four suspected militants, the officials said.

    The exact identities of the seven people killed in the attacks were not known, but most of this month's strikes have targeted forces led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a commander who was once supported by Pakistan and the U.S. during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    Haqqani has since turned against the U.S., and American military officials have said his network — now effectively led by his son, Sirajuddin — presents one of the greatest threats to foreign forces in Afghanistan. Another militant commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, and his forces also hold sway in North Waziristan.

    The U.S. wants Pakistan to launch an army offensive against insurgents in North Waziristan, but the government has resisted. Analysts believe Pakistan wants to maintain its historic relationship with the Haqqani network, which could be an ally in Afghanistan after foreign forces withdraw.

    Without a Pakistani offensive, the U.S. has had to rely on CIA-operated drone strikes to target the network, which also has bases in eastern Afghanistan.

    The 19 missile strikes this month have killed around 90 people, according to an Associated Press tally based on Pakistani intelligence reports.

    U.S. officials do not publicly acknowledge the missile strikes but have said privately they have killed several senior Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the region, which is largely out of the control of the Pakistani state.

    Pakistan often criticizes the attacks as violations of the country's sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to help the U.S. carry out the strikes. Criticism of the strikes has been more muted in recent months.

    ____

    Associated Press Writer Ishtiaq Mahsud contributed to this report from Dera Ismail Khan.
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    PA to Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

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    Senior Contributor kuku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui View Post
    PA to Abdul Qayyum Khan
    i
    that was so funny...
    cheers

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Musharraf: Pakistan's military need political role

    By SYLVIA HUI (AP) – 15 hours ago

    LONDON — Pakistan's former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, said Wednesday that the country's armed forces need to play a larger political role, as he discussed plans for his own bid to return to power as a civilian.

    Musharraf told a meeting in central London that Pakistan's army should have a constitutional role, rather than an informal position, in the country's leadership.

    "The situation in Pakistan can only be resolved when the military has some role," Musharraf said, in a public interview with a former British ambassador to the U.S., Christopher Meyer.

    "Pakistan's army chief ought to be involved in some form, to ensure checks and balances, to ensure good governance," Musharraf said. "We must involve the military men. They should have a place to voice their concerns."

    Musharraf's successor as army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has won praise in Pakistan for focusing the military on fighting insurgents and not disrupting Pakistan's return to civilian rule.

    However, analysts point to rumors that the military is gearing up to engineer an alternative to President Asif Ali Zardari's elected government. They suggest Musharraf could carve out a space for himself as negotiator between the military and civilian leadership.

    Pakistan's army has ruled the country for about half of the 63 years since its independence from Britain and still retains enormous influence.

    Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup and stepped down in 2008 amid nationwide protests, has said he will return to his country for the next set of national elections in 2013. He plans to announce the political platform of the All Pakistan Muslim League in London on Friday.

    Although Musharraf had said he is confident he can regain popularity in Pakistan, analysts are doubtful he still wields influence in the country's military circles. The former leader has no strong connections to Pakistan's parties, they said, and the electorate is unlikely to welcome a former military dictator back with open arms.

    "He is very much yesterday's man," said Shaun Gregory, an expert on Pakistan at northern England's University of Bradford. "He was basically forced out of his army position and the presidency; he was under pressure from several political parties for corruption and the coup in 1999. This is a man with a lot of powerful political enemies in Pakistan."

    Musharraf, 67, suffered a drastic loss of popularity in 2007 after firing the chief justice — who has since been reinstated — and calling a subsequent state of emergency that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. He was brought down in August 2008 after months of protests and a heavy election defeat for his supporters.

    The former leader now spends most of his time living in Britain and giving private lectures to professionals. His return to Pakistan will almost certainly be greeted by legal challenges by his political opponents.

    A crucial U.S. ally in the "war on terror" during his rule, Musharraf may be relying on support from an educated, Westernized Pakistani elite — but his relationship with Washington also means that his standing is poor among a largely anti-U.S. electorate.

    "The only thing Musharraf's got going for him at the moment is the support of diaspora Pakistanis and maybe the army. I cannot see him at the moment generating the necessary power base from the ground," Gregory said.

    A new political party has little chance to make a breakthrough because Pakistani parties tend to draw heavily on ethnic and regional bases, he said.

    However, some observers suggest the former leader could also be looking at a comeback in the longer term and potential opportunities beyond the 2013 elections.

    "Maybe he's playing a longer game," said Gareth Price, who heads the Asia program at London-based think tank Chatham House. "But my sense is that Pakistan has probably moved on."

    Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    Regular Bhaarat's Avatar
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    I'm very new at the forum and perhaps the least learned amidst so many big brains. So correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.
    We already have a strong example of an exiled leader of the region coming back and back into power - Hamid Karzai.
    Although pure politicians like Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto couldn't spark the same way.
    However I don't rule out for Parvez Musharraf's reappearance. Military and its leaders have taken control of Pakistan in the most unassuming situations.
    a) He has international support, specially from west where feeding tunnels of Pakistan originate.
    b) Army and a small section of people would take him by both hands as he is perceived to have the guts to chase down problems even if his hands get dirty. Something that people don't seem to find in politicians right now.
    On the contrary the corruption charges on him are too serious and people like Imran Khan of Tehriq-e-Insaaf party have already spoiled the air.
    Only the brave shall inherit the Earth.

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    Senior Contributor kuku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaarat View Post
    I'm very new at the forum and perhaps the least learned amidst so many big brains. So correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.
    We already have a strong example of an exiled leader of the region coming back and back into power - Hamid Karzai.
    Although pure politicians like Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto couldn't spark the same way.
    However I don't rule out for Parvez Musharraf's reappearance. Military and its leaders have taken control of Pakistan in the most unassuming situations.
    a) He has international support, specially from west where feeding tunnels of Pakistan originate.
    b) Army and a small section of people would take him by both hands as he is perceived to have the guts to chase down problems even if his hands get dirty. Something that people don't seem to find in politicians right now.
    On the contrary the corruption charges on him are too serious and people like Imran Khan of Tehriq-e-Insaaf party have already spoiled the air.
    The political establishment can only control domestic issues if the Army truly dictates to them, its unlikely they will let a civilian government decide on foreign policy issues, defence issues and economic issues, that is if they have control.

    So now that Mush is out of the Army, and coming back as a civilian leader, its unlikely he will have any power given to him by the army, which makes the changes he calls for unlikely.

    On the other hand, it was clear from the moment he had to leave power that he was going to enter politics (he has made enough sounds about it).

    Corruption and other legal affairs are never a problem in (everyone is involved), more like a tool to teach opponents a lesson.

    I have not heard about Imran Khan and others like him make much difference on the national scale.
    Last edited by kuku; 04 Oct 10, at 12:10.
    cheers

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaarat View Post
    However I don't rule out for Parvez Musharraf's reappearance. Military and its leaders have taken control of Pakistan in the most unassuming situations.
    a) He has international support, specially from west where feeding tunnels of Pakistan originate.
    b) Army and a small section of people would take him by both hands as he is perceived to have the guts to chase down problems even if his hands get dirty. Something that people don't seem to find in politicians right now.
    On the contrary the corruption charges on him are too serious and people like Imran Khan of Tehriq-e-Insaaf party have already spoiled the air.
    I think you missed the point behind troung's latest post (or have I)

    Pakistan needs less army and more civilian. The Army does not need it, they already control things as it is with or without the ppl's consent. Why would they give this power up ?

    Asking for a political role for the army seems redundant.

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I think you missed the point behind troung's latest post (or have I)

    Pakistan needs less army and more civilian. The Army does not need it, they already control things as it is with or without the ppl's consent. Why would they give this power up ?

    Asking for a political role for the army seems redundant.
    Double E,

    They do have power as is but that is not with a legal sanction. Hence any move they make on a policy level is open to criticism as any extra-constitutional move would be. I think they are looking for a constitutional role of the army, rather like the Guardian Coucil of Iran which allows theologists a supreme say in policy.

    As we have seen in Iran, there still may be a democratic process in play, but the military gets a permanent voice in how the country is actually run rather than having to plan those pesky coups, which are bad for publicity anyway.

    Also, everyone gets the message straightaway...
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Double post, self delete
    Last edited by antimony; 04 Oct 10, at 19:35.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Ah, so the Army can field candidates now to spar against the civvies in elections. And i suppose that's where Musharraf's makes his grand entrance

    But what are the downsides for the military accepting this role ?

    This implies two things does it not, that the army will retain its present power and will not attempt any more coups.

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Ah, so the Army can field candidates now to spar against the civvies in elections. And i suppose that's where Musharraf's makes his grand entrance

    But what are the downsides for the military accepting this role ?

    This implies two things does it not, that the army will retain its present power and will not attempt any more coups.
    The main downside of course is an all out ownership of the country. But that can be circumvented by the way, the role of the army is crafted in. Indeed, if they do a good job of it, then the Army may retain a lot of power while blame goes to the politicians.

    By the way, the "correct" way to do this would be to specifically NOT field candidates, leave that to the political entities like PPP or ML or whatever, but act as an approval authority both of constitutional position and of policy, much like the Guardian Council functions.

    Musharraf allowed elections at a local level while keeping an iron hand on policy. This would be the next logical step.
    Last edited by antimony; 05 Oct 10, at 00:16.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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    Regular DV RULES's Avatar
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    In my point of view no any army will accept political criticism upon its moves & activities.
    <b>Our Policy</b>

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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyewatch View Post
    In my point of view no any army will accept political criticism upon its moves & activities.
    Well nor do many armies play politics with their country.
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    Regular Bhaarat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuku View Post
    I have not heard about Imran Khan and others like him make much difference on the national scale.
    The point of making a difference or not rises when he is given a chance at the throne. However, what I'm saying is that people look up to him as a hope and potential for future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Pakistan needs less army and more civilian. The Army does not need it, they already control things as it is with or without the ppl's consent. Why would they give this power up ?

    Asking for a political role for the army seems redundant.
    Agreed. If army would think that the General is an overhead now, then he would find it tougher. But as many know his deeds already; he was the top army figure and has a nack for politics. He'll surely pull some strings and move rocks here and there. Besides, some would agree that there is still a leadership vaccum felt in Pakistan. I won't rule out anything as of now.
    By the way I too support civilian government in Pakistan, but does it matter?

    Regards,
    Bhaarat
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