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WORLD
December 12, 2009 | By Alex Rodriguez
At a time when President Obama needs help tackling skepticism in Pakistan over his new plan to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a valuable ally here is battling for political survival. Just 15 months into his term, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is withering under pressure from the country's military, opposition parties and vocal media critics. Zardari has proved a reliable U.S. partner, even on actions that are unpopular with the Pakistani public, such as the CIA's campaign of airstrikes targeting Al Qaeda leaders and the Taliban in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.
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WORLD
September 9, 2013 | By Nasir Khan and Mark Magnier
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Mamnoon Hussain was sworn in Monday as Pakistan's new president, replacing Asif Ali Zardari, who becomes the nation's first democratically elected president to complete a full term. Hussain's swearing-in came as leaders of more than a dozen political parties gathered at a conference led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and agreed to negotiate with militants in the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, whose groups have sought to topple the government. In telephone calls to news media, Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said his group welcomed the government's offer of talks and would convene within a few days its central council, which would form a team to negotiate and formalize its demands.
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WORLD
November 15, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Once the foreign policy face of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi has severed ties with the country's ruling party and is now eyeing a new political life, possibly with a rising party led by former cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan. Qureshi, a former stalwart within President Asif Ali Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, announced his departure from the party and his resignation as one of its lawmakers. At odds with the PPP since his ouster as foreign minister in February, Qureshi has been talking with Khan about joining his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
WORLD
March 16, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Throughout his presidency, Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari has looked over his shoulder. Would the military bounce him from office? Would an aggressive Supreme Court find a legal lever to send him packing? Would infighting and dissent erode his fragile coalition government? Now, as he and his government make history by becoming the first civilian administration to ever complete its five-year term - despite public approval ratings as low as 14% - Zardari's legacy is clear.
WORLD
May 20, 2012 | By David S. Cloud and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
CHICAGO - As thousands of protesters marched in the streets, President Obama welcomed more than 60 world leaders to his heavily guarded hometown for a NATO summit that will start the clock for America and its allies to begin pulling combat troops from Afghanistan. The two-day summit, the largest in the 63-year history of the military alliance, came as White House officials made it clear they were furious overPakistan's continued refusal to reopen ground routes used to move fuel and other war supplies into Afghanistan, a six-month standoff that the White House had hoped to resolve before Obama arrived in Chicago.
WORLD
May 6, 2009 | Paul Richter and Christi Parsons
President Obama begins two days of talks at the White House today with the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to overhaul a painstakingly developed security strategy that was unveiled only five weeks ago but already has become badly outdated. The three countries spent months developing their plan to combat an Islamic insurgency centered in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. But growing militant activity in Pakistan is forcing them to hastily switch focus.
WORLD
April 14, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari signed a regulation to put a northwestern district under Islamic law as part of a peace deal with militants, after coming under intense pressure from his party's members and other lawmakers. Islamic militants have terrorized the Swat Valley for nearly two years, seeking to impose their own justice system. Zardari's move was sure to further anger rights activists and feed fears among Western allies that the valley, bordering Afghanistan, will become a haven for militants.
NEWS
May 3, 2011 | By Richard Simon and Michael Muskal
A growing number of U.S. officials, including key lawmakers such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday questioned whether Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden and whether the country should continue to receive substantial amounts of U.S. aid. Speaking to Los Angels business leaders during their annual lobbying trip to Washington, Feinstein said she believed Pakistan was “walking both sides...
WORLD
March 15, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A court quashed Pakistan's last outstanding charge against the husband of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, clearing the way for him to lead her party in a new coalition government. There is speculation that Asif Ali Zardari may seek to become prime minister; anyone convicted of a crime is barred from holding office. A judge in Rawalpindi acquitted Zardari in a case involving the importation of a German limousine. Six other corruption cases against Zardari dating from his wife's time in office in the 1990s had already been dismissed.
WORLD
August 29, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
Nearly a year into his term, people close to President Asif Ali Zardari say he knows just how low his popularity has sunk. Pakistanis still call him "Mr. 10%," a reference to corruption allegations that have dogged him since stints in previous decades as a Cabinet minister. The media jabs his inability to solve myriad crises, ranging from daily power shutdowns to a moribund economy. He gets little to no credit for the military offensive to tame local Taliban forces. None of it fazes him, says Fauzia Wahab, a lawmaker with the ruling Pakistan People's Party, or PPP, and a close ally of Zardari.
WORLD
January 17, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The firebrand cleric who led a massive street rally aimed at bringing down the Pakistani government called off the protests Thursday after negotiating a settlement with ruling coalition leaders. The agreement between religious scholar Tahirul Qadri and government officials ended a four-day standoff that threatened to upend the country's political landscape. It calls for the antigovernment movement to have a say in appointing a caretaker prime minister to run the country leading up to elections this year.
WORLD
January 14, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Tens of thousands of protesters led by a firebrand Islamic cleric descended on the Pakistani capital Monday in a fierce outpouring of anger and frustration with the government that many worried could destabilize the country ahead of national elections this spring. The size of Tahirul Qadri's "Long March" to Islamabad from the eastern city of Lahore appeared to fall far short of his predictions of more than a million people. The caravan of hundreds of buses, vans, motorcycles and cars jammed with demonstrators was allowed to enter the capital and hold a rally on a main thoroughfare roughly two miles from parliament.
WORLD
November 3, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
SHAH BANDAR, Pakistan - In his dreams, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari sees a spectacular metropolis rising up from the vast stretches of mangrove swamp and sea-salted wasteland along the mighty Indus River Delta. High-speed rail zips people from place to place. Vacationers soak up the South Asian sun at seaside resorts. Universities, factories and a new seaport pump vitality into the region. Miles of bike lanes crisscross the city, whose population would eventually reach 10 million.
WORLD
May 20, 2012 | By David S. Cloud and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
CHICAGO - As thousands of protesters marched in the streets, President Obama welcomed more than 60 world leaders to his heavily guarded hometown for a NATO summit that will start the clock for America and its allies to begin pulling combat troops from Afghanistan. The two-day summit, the largest in the 63-year history of the military alliance, came as White House officials made it clear they were furious overPakistan's continued refusal to reopen ground routes used to move fuel and other war supplies into Afghanistan, a six-month standoff that the White House had hoped to resolve before Obama arrived in Chicago.
WORLD
April 8, 2012 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
NEW DELHI - Pakistan's president arrived in India on Sunday, the first official visit one leader of the wary neighbors has paid to the other nation in seven years. No breakthroughs were announced, but both sides hailed the meeting as a sign of easing tensions along one of the world's most dangerous borders. Spinmeisters on both sides worked overtime to lower public expectations of the "private" trip that saw Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discuss the 2008 terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai, modest if expanding trade links, the disputed territory of Kashmir and efforts to bring various militants to justice.
WORLD
February 23, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
  A Pakistani American businessman told a judicial panel Wednesday that Pakistani officials enlisted him last year to deliver a memo urging Washington to help rein in the country's powerful military, saying the idea was pushed by the nation's then-ambassador to the U.S. and endorsed by President Asif Ali Zardari. Mansoor Ijaz testified that during a phone call in the days after the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. commando raid, a noticeably agitated Husain Haqqani, the ambassador at the time, said Zardari's government was "under enormous pressure" fromPakistan's military.
WORLD
April 1, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez
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.
WORLD
March 31, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Pakistani government asked Swiss authorities Wednesday to revive money-laundering charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, the latest in a series of setbacks that have weakened his standing in the nuclear-armed state. The government's move came a day after Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry threatened to jail the country's top anti-corruption agency official if he did not reopen corruption cases against Zardari and a slew of other bureaucrats and businesspeople within 24 hours.
WORLD
February 17, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez and Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday sought to secure help from Pakistani leaders in facilitating peace talks with Pakistan-based Afghan Taliban leaders, while the militant group denied any interest in negotiating with an "impotent" administration. Karzai's visit to Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, came amid reports that he had said in an interview that the U.S. and Afghan governments had begun secret talks with the Afghan Taliban. In recent months, U.S. officials have been meeting with Taliban envoys to discuss the establishment of a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
WORLD
January 19, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appeared Thursday before a Supreme Court panel to defend himself in contempt-of-court proceedings, staving off an immediate ruling in a high-stakes case that could lead to his ouster and jeopardize his party's hold on government. The high court initiated contempt proceedings against Gilani this week, contending that he had deliberately ignored its frequent demands to pursue long-standing corruption allegations against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari.
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