May 12, 2011 |
A provincial high court Thursday barred Asif Ali Zardari from maintaining dual roles as Pakistan's president and head of the ruling party, a potential setback for a leader who has reeled from one crisis to another since taking office in 2008. The Lahore High Court ruling could force Zardari to eventually choose between staying on as president and keeping his post as co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, or PPP. However, a lengthy appeals process could stave off implementation of the court decision and Zardari could get the ruling reversed at the Supreme Court level.
February 12, 2011 |
The fatal shooting of two Pakistani men by a U.S. Consulate employee last month was "coldblooded murder" and not self-defense, police investigators said Friday, escalating a diplomatic crisis between the United States and an important ally in its fight against terrorism. With law enforcement authorities set on a course to try Raymond Davis on murder charges, the 36-year-old American's case may rest on his claim of diplomatic immunity, an assertion that so far the Pakistani federal government has avoided affirming.
January 5, 2011 |
The brazen assassination Tuesday of a popular and progressive Pakistani governor allied with the nation's president threw an already teetering U.S.-backed government into even greater turmoil. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province and an avowed opponent of religious extremism, was shot to death at an open-air shopping center in Islamabad that is frequented by foreigners and the Pakistani elite. The gunman was a member of the governor's own elite police security contingent, officials said.
December 3, 2010 |
Benazir Bhutto had a life that makes fiction pale by comparison. When writer Tariq Ali says, characterizing the tale of her charismatic but cursed family, "the whole story has strong elements of a Greek tragedy," he is not telling the half of it. As "Bhutto," the thorough and involving documentary on her life conveys, Benazir was a formidable personality all by herself. The first woman to head a Muslim state, twice Pakistan's prime minister, assassinated Dec. 27, 2007, when she returned from exile to try for a third term, Benazir was rarely less than remarkable.
June 14, 2010 |
Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency not only funds and trains Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, but also maintains its own representation on the insurgency's leadership council, claims a new report issued by the London School of Economics. Assertions that Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, continues to nurture links with the Afghan Taliban are not new. But the scope of that relationship claimed by the report's author, Matt Waldman, is startling and could prove damaging to the fragile alliance Washington is trying to foster with Pakistan, its military establishment, and its weak civilian government led by President Asif Ali Zardari.
April 20, 2010 |
A stint behind bars doesn't always have to be an ignominious coda to a politician's career. In the case of Yusaf Raza Gilani, it became a badge of honor. Gilani was an opposition party stalwart in 2001 when Pakistan's then-President Gen. Pervez Musharraf gave him and other supporters of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto a choice: switch over to the general's side, or spend time in prison. "Some gave in, but Gilani refused," said Syed Nazimuddin Shah, a provincial lawmaker and a friend of Gilani since childhood.
April 2, 2010 |
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will see most of his powers stripped and his office turned into a figurehead role under sweeping constitutional changes introduced Friday and expected to be passed by parliament next week. Support is virtually unanimous for a constitutional amendment that returns the bulk of the powers held by the president to the prime minister. Zardari himself backed the change, giving in to political pressure from all sides to relinquish powers that had been acquired by military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
April 1, 2010 |
A Pakistani government agency asked Swiss authorities Wednesday to revive money laundering charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, the latest in a series of setbacks that have weakened the Pakistani leader's standing in the nuclear-armed state. The move came a day after Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry threatened to jail the top official of the country's anticorruption agency if he did not reopen cases against Zardari and other bureaucrats and businesspeople within 24 hours.
January 2, 2010 |
At least 75 civilians were killed and dozens were wounded Friday when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at an outdoor volleyball game in northwestern Pakistan, police said. The attack apparently was aimed at members of an anti-Taliban "peace committee" that has been challenging the influence of insurgents, officials and town elders said. The bombing took place as a crowd of more than 200 people watched a match between local teams about 20 miles south of the town of Lakki Marwat in North-West Frontier Province.
December 17, 2009 |
Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an amnesty that had shielded President Asif Ali Zardari from graft charges, a decision that could imperil the political future of a leader regarded by the U.S. as a key ally in the war on terrorism. Though not unexpected, the ruling deals Pakistan's 54-year-old president a serious blow at a time when his popularity with Pakistanis continues to sink and calls for his resignation mount. The decision also is likely to draw concern in Washington, where Zardari is seen as a reliable partner in the fight against Islamic extremists.