sectarian killings

Massive Demonstrations, Arrest Warrant for Prime Minister Threaten Upcoming Pakistan Elections

For the first time in its 65 year history, Pakistan is poised to see an elected government fully complete its term in March. With chaos erupting on several fronts, though, the path toward electing a new government appears to be full of obstacles.

Last week saw sectarian bombings kill 96 Shi’ites in Quetta on Thursday alone, and tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets, refusing to bury the dead until Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf came to Quetta and agreed to fire the entire provincial government, as it was suspected of being involved in sectarian violence.

Ashraf finds himself at the center of a controversy, as well. The Pakistan Supreme Court issued a warrant for his arrest today in a long-simmering scandal dating back to when Ashraf was minister of water and power before he became Prime Minister. From Dawn:

The prime minister has been accused of receiving kickbacks and commission in the RPPs [Rental Power Projects] case as minister for water and power.

In the case, nine RPPs firms were accused of receiving more than Rs22 billion [1 R = .01 US $] as a mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects but most of them did not set up their plants and a few of them installed them but with inordinate delay.

From the Reuters article on today’s developments in Pakistan, we have a description of how the election process is supposed to proceed:

The government and opposition are poised to start negotiating the formation of a caretaker administration to oversee the run-up to the polls as soon as parliament is dissolved, which is due to happen in March. An election date has yet to be announced.

The New York Times article on developments informs us that the elections are required to take place within 60 days of the end of the term for the parliament. Complicating the process immensely though, is the sudden appearance of cleric Tahir ul Qadri, who has returned to Pakistan from Canada to lead massive protests demanding that the government resign immediately, instead of in March. The Times explains that some see the hand of the military behind Qadri:

The court order came as an enigmatic preacher turned politician, Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri, addressed thousands of supporters outside Parliament and repeated calls for the government’s ouster. In earlier speeches, he said that a caretaker administration led by technocrats should take its place.

The confluence of the two events stoked growing speculation that Pakistan’s powerful military was quietly supporting moves that would delay general elections that are due to take place this spring, most likely through the imposition of a military-backed caretaker administration.

The AP has more on what Qadri had to say at today’s rally: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @JonathanLanday Me too. But would GOP want to impeach for something involving real law? Precedent might hurt future GOP POTUS. @PGEddington
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @clairecmc: Today I announced hearing in September to explore all aspects of military equipment and local police. http://t.co/rmS04Ia9D9
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NickBaumann Oh. Sorry. I misunderstood. I thought he was advocating us putting a chain through his dick and locking it down. No?
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @samhusseini: People seem more upset that Netanyahu tweeted pics of Foley than he killed other journalists in Gaza. http://t.co/m0sTYOyL
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Remember when equality came to a new state at least once a week and this summer looked hopeful? Thank you FL for a respite.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @lawfareblog: Jack Goldsmith: "Government Protection of Classified Information, August 2014" http://t.co/QBD4HnPJte
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RalstonReports @mattklewis They did say in first days that officer had had his faced bruised, may have said swollen too.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AntonioFrench: I spent the morning at the Board of Elections getting maps/data to start registering every black person in #Ferguson. ht…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz A vignette as to how prosecutors manipulate the grand jury to get indictments (when a white cop is not the defendant) http://t.co/D2ZyS0FRqT
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @Popehat: I feel that Rush and I have gotten off on the wrong foot. Does Hallmark make any "let's be friends" cards featuring the Domini…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @csoghoian OK. Then I will leave you both to continue your mocking! @EdFelten
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @EdFelten Is it possible the WH (Bush and Obama) have gone thru everyone who HAS cyber expertise who knows better? @csoghoian
2hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31