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: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @benwizner @Ali_Gharib Good planning.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @benwizner: US criminal investigation of @Wikileaks has been a farce from Day 1-- notion that foreign publishers are bound by US secrecy…
29mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @benwizner @wikileaks The farce of the DOJ crim investigation is surpassed only by that of the clucks claiming there is a secret indictment
29mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @Ali_Gharib: Idea being floated by Israeli officials of manufacturing a "crisis" in #Iran talks b/c then Iran will give up more is batsh…
37mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Concerned Ali is using up critical supplies too fast for coming #SNOMG RT @Ali_Gharib brb - tearing up my floorboards for firewood.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @cjproctor74: For the @NewYorker, a well-told, exhaustively reported version of the long-troubled @ABQPOLICE story. By @RachelAviv: http…
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I used to be a free speech absolutist. Charlie Hebdo changed that. http://t.co/9sVhytuhM8 A shameful take on free speech by @andresDCmtz
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @fordm Grand aspirations?
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @fordm Won't happen anyway. Only happens for those whose beheadings and extremism we need to gloss over.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @radleybalko: John McCain thinks the NFL should be run more like D.C. That's what politicians tend to think about most things. http://t.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @normative: We all remember where Modi got the "stitch your name in a pinstripe suit" idea, right? http://t.co/boCRULFXn9 http://t.co/11
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @tweetsintheME: It is so messed up that Gen. Dempsey is sponsoring an essay competition about King Abdullah. So, so messed up. http://t.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2015
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031