Pervaiz Ashraf

Zardari Changes Prime Minister Candidates After Warrant Issued; Viral Video Mocks Powerful in Pakistan

In a week that has seen rapid changes in Pakistan’s civilian government, it appears that President Asif Ali Zardari’s political party, the PPP, has had to change its choice to replace Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was ousted earlier in the week by the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the PPP announced Makhdoom Shahabuddin as their choice for Prime Minister:

President Asif Ali Zardari nominated Shahabuddin to form a new cabinet after the Supreme Court dismissed Gilani for contempt on Tuesday.

A consensus choice and a loyalist, Shahabuddin was briefly finance minister during the 1993-1996 premiership of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari’s wife who was assassinated in 2007.

His nomination was announced after more than 24 hours of crisis talks and intense horse trading between Zardari and members of his fractious ruling coalition.

In brief remarks at the national assembly, Shahabuddin showcased his loyalty by thanking Zardari and extending greetings to members of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on the birthday of his late wife.

“I am thankful from the bottom of my heart (to Zardari),” he told reporters.

“Today is a special day because it is Benazir Bhutto’s birthday and I send my congratulations on this birthday to all party workers,” he added.

That plan appears already to have come to a complete halt, as an arrest warrant was issued today for Shahbuddin:

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.

Yes, the Gilani mentioned above is the son of the former Prime Minister. From Reuters: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @bmaz At which point it becomes entirely a PR event, so he's perfect!
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @chrisgeidner @espinsegall Agree; not sure I see any equation between practitioners and the courts themselves.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @NSA_PAO: Adm Rogers at #ISSAConf: "We've got to create a public and private partnership" to effectively address cyber threats. #cyberse
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ScottGreenfield You need to ask?
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So, hell of a job Klain.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz So Klain takes over as Ebola Czar on about exactly the day all known US ebola patients being cleared and all potential exposures timing out.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Last state based off audit of 34/120 facilities in 1st year: remaining 9 must have been in 4-mo correction window.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel DOJ IG reports on how well BOP meeting new rape prevention standards. http://t.co/QvDURmf3L1 Some prisons now meet, 3/25 do not.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Rory is so proud of her prize. The squirrel did eventually come down from the tree last night. http://t.co/mtZ4KdYpjB
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RupertStone83 Pretty sure THAT had to do w/how much they were getting from him. How well they were exploiting him.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RupertStone83 I suspect HIG has greatest incentive to hide details of interrogations where they got most exploitation.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TimothyS Surprised they just haven't renamed. I hear Blackwater is available.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031