Leading Pakistan Party Looks to Lift Musharraf Restrictions

(The Washington Post) - The head of Pakistan's new leading party said Wednesday it will push to reinstate the country's embattled judiciary and lift restrictions placed on the media under the leadership of President Pervez Musharraf.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People's Party and widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said he will work with other parties in parliament for the reinstatement of the chief justice of the Supreme Court and called for the release of several judges and lawyers currently under detention.

"We want the judiciary to be an independent institution in the country," Zardari, whose party captured more votes than any other in Monday's vote, said during a news conference at his home Wednesday.

Restoration of the judiciary has been a flashpoint issue for politicians here ever since last year, when Musharraf sacked chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and detained several lawyers, including the president of the Supreme Court bar association, Aitzaz Ahsan, both critics of the president. Several parties have championed the cause of the reinstatement of the judiciary, but none more stridently than the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Zardari on Thursday plans to meet with Sharif to discuss the possible formation of a coalition. While Sharif was not a candidate for office, his Pakistan Muslim League-N took second place in the elections. Zardari said he has all but ruled out working with Musharraf's party.

Musharraf, in an interview Tuesday with the Wall Street Journal, vowed to stay in office despite his growing unpopularity and the poor electoral performance of his Pakistan Muslim League-Q.

The scramble to build alliances in parliament began in earnest late Monday evening when it became clear that voters had handed a victory to the two leading opposition parties. Zardari appeared to be working vigorously Wednesday to consolidate his party's power, holding meetings with leaders of several smaller opposition parties, including the secular Awami National Party.

The outcome of the political horse-trading will not only determine parliament's next choice for prime minister, but it will also have significant ramifications for the U.S.-backed counterterrorism efforts here.

The United States has spent more than $10 billion in aid to Pakistan to bolster the fight against militants in the country's restive tribal areas and northwest frontier. About $5 billion of that was in the form of reimbursements for some 91 Pakistani military operations against militants.

But newly empowered parties in parliament could diverge from Musharraf's strategy. Zardari said Wednesday his party wants to redefine Pakistan's struggle with Muslim extremists and smooth the way toward greater political inclusion for the millions that live in Pakistan's restive tribal regions.

"If we want to resolve the issue of extremism in Pakistan than we have to address the causes of extremism in the country," he said.

President Bush, traveling in Ghana, called the elections in Pakistan a "victory" in the war on terror.

"It's now time for the newly elected folks to show up and form their government," Bush said. "The question then is `Will they be friends of the United States?' I certainly hope so."

IAEA chief: Technical meeting with Iran to be held in April
IAEA chief: Technical meeting with Iran to be held in April
Anti-Iran resolution at IAEA non-constructive - Chief of Staff of Iran's president
Anti-Iran resolution at IAEA non-constructive - Chief of Staff of Iran's president
Iran expects the US to take serious steps toward JCPOA
Iran expects the US to take serious steps toward JCPOA
Loading Bars
Latest
Armenia can also benefit from regional transportation projects if behaves in normal way - President Aliyev
We invite ECO member states to benefit from “Zangazur corridor” - President of Azerbaijan
We condemn unequal, unfair distribution of vaccines among developing and developed countries - President Aliyev
Now we are looking into future - President Aliyev
Military victory over Armenia on battlefield was also fully accomplished by political ways - President Aliyev
Stronger Turkey is, stronger is Azerbaijan and all its partners - President Aliyev
IAEA chief: Technical meeting with Iran to be held in April
WHO praises Georgia for curbing Covid-19
Belarusian BELAVIA airlines operating one-way flights on Baku-Minsk route
Macron to spare Paris region from weekend lockdown, for now
Kazakhstan determines priorities of foreign policy
Compliance services become more relevant in Azerbaijan - PASHA Bank
Several servicemen killed in military helicopter crash in Turkey
Azerbaijan doing everything to create new transport infrastructure in South Caucasus – Russian analyst
New reality created in South Caucasus - head of department at Istanbul Kadir Has University
Demining of Azerbaijani lands complicated by Armenia’s refusal to provide maps of minefields - Expert
Long-awaited end to Karabakh conflict creates new opportunities - Former US ambassador to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage from Kechikli village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan interested in strengthening export and investment potential with Argentina
President Aliyev gives speech at virtual Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization
MFA shares potential sectors of Lithuanian investment in Georgia
Georgian kiwi enters Japanese market
Azerbaijan's ENGINET company talks unique solutions for local market
Kazakh gold extracting venture opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan intends to attract funds to improve energy efficiency of facilities
Volume of food products sold in Baku's trade network increases
Georgia shows progress in curbing coronavirus cases - WHO
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry allocates funds for maintenance services
Restaurant business subsidizing program launched in Tbilisi
UK's Johnson says Brexit problems in Northern Ireland are solvable
Supporting Member Country ECAs: ICIEC endorse supportive reinsurance treaty with JLGC
Uztekstilprom, French Proparco talk profitable financing for textile projects
Georgian consulting company launching project for female entrepreneurs
Georgian wine export to US down
Russia and Azerbaijan lead in import of electricity to Georgia
Several low-cost airlines resume flights to Georgia
Azerbaijan-Belarus foreign trade operations for Jan. 2021 revealed
Azerbaijan confirms 124 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakhstan increasing control over development of oil and gas fields
State property privatization plan in Georgia surpasses initial plan
Several containers with cargo to pass through Azerbaijan along BTK railway - ADY Container
Rehabilitation centers can be established in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Agency
Azerbaijan discloses number of imported cars in 2020
Uzbekistan’s 1M2021 profit for banks increases
Germany approves AstraZeneca for over-65s
New plant to be commissioned in Baku
Azerbaijan to receive Astra Zeneca vaccine via COVAX mechanism - WHO
Turkmengas opens again tender for operation of video surveillance system
Uzbekistan, Belarus agree to expand range of mutually supplied agricultural products
Uzbek currency rates for March 5
Italian Eni launches implementation of its solar energy project in Kazakhstan
Ensuring security in Karabakh our top priority - Turkish president
Georgia eyes to select new investor for Anaklia port
Creation of Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan Business Council under discussion
Covaxin demonstrates prowess of Atmanirbhar Bharat, says ICMR chief
India, Philippines sign key defence pact, set ball rolling for BrahMos missile sale
Turkey supports Georgia in deepening relations with Euro-Atlantic structures
Moldova Post plans to develop co-op with Turkmenistan in field of postal services
Georgia preparing for issuance of new Eurobond
Europe reviewing Russia's COVID-19 vaccine
German companies interested in funding Azerbaijan's railway projects
Uzbekistan to launch production of electric scooters in Fergana region
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee chairman names most-imported products for 2020
India, Norway to work together in marine spatial planning
PM Modi may launch trading points, connectivity projects in Dhaka
India to fund NRs 246 million for reconstruction of Cultural Heritages in Nepal
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan resuming mutual air traffic
Several ships and related facilities to be launched in Iranian ports
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 4
Azerbaijani FM’s letter to UN sec-gen disseminated as document of organization
Kazakhstan increases imports of Iran-made goods
Georgia plans to create new economic development plan
Baku Statistical Department discloses Jan. 2021 volume of paid services to citizens
Electricity production in Georgia to increase after Namakhvani HPP is ready
Uzbekistan reveals volume of industrial production for Jan. 2021
Students and graduates of Baku Higher Oil School shown high results in entrance exams for master's degree programs
Azerbaijani PASHA Bank eyes attracting IT companies to implement joint projects
Azerbaijani banks' demand at foreign exchange auction decrease
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price fell
Azerbaijan, Turkey to hold joint military exercises (PHOTO)
Turkish foreign minister to visit Uzbekistan
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port revealed
Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant announces tender to buy accumulators
Moldova Post talks details of postal communication resumption with Turkmenistan
Buta Airways to launch ticket sales for Baku-Istanbul-Baku Flights
Iran Khodro Company expects to meet forecasts
Azerbaijani IT company seeks to promote smart home systems abroad
Iran declares data of exports, imports via Astara port
Several mines produced by Armenia found in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district - Trend TV reports
Azerbaijan releases 2M2021 data on transactions of local investment companies'
EU delegation's head talks interest in raising Azerbaijani regions' financial inclusion
Most of construction work in Baku during Jan. 2021 carried out by private companies
BlackRock builds 5% stake in Toshiba, becomes third largest shareholder
Iran discloses volume of rapeseed to be harvested
Azerbaijan, Iran negotiating to open customs post on border, in Khudaferin village
Uniper sees increase in generation capacity
EU invests in micro-entrepreneurship dev't in Azerbaijani districts
Azerbaijan gives update on number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Turkmenistan to expand production of Balkanabat iodine plant
Azerbaijan expects creating new broadcasting opportunities for Internet TV, radio channels
All news