Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control Over Capital :: Opposition Leaders Confined.

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Pakistani opposition leader Sharif detained – aides

Sun, Mar 15 08:58 AM // Reuters

Former Pakistani prime minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif has been placed under house arrest in the city of Lahore, his party officials said on Sunday, hours before he was due to address a protest rally.
“Detention orders have been issued for Mr Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and other senior party leaders,” Sharif party official Naseer Ahmed Bhutta said outside Sahrif’s house, which was surrounded by police.
Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz, is also a politician and a senior member of his party.

Source Courtesy : Yahoo Services.

Pak to review court poll bar on Sharifs

Islamabad, March 14 (Agencies): The Pakistan Government today said it would appeal a court ruling that barred Nawaz Sharif and his brother from elected office, in the first major concession to Opposition leaders that came amid stepped-up US efforts to end the standoff.
The decision to file a review petition came hours after information minister Sherry Rehman resigned over restrictions on media coverage of protests by lawyers and Opposition parties campaigning for an independent judiciary, and the army was put on standby.
Officials said US secretary of state Hillary Clinton telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari and Sharif and voiced concern over the turmoil the country had lurched into.
Clinton “urged a settlement through negotiations”, Sharif’s spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed said.
Hours later the government announced it would appeal the court ruling in the coming week.
“The federal government will file a review petition in the supreme court against the verdict of the supreme court,” a spokesman for Zardari said in a statement.
“This is part of the government’s policy to resolve political issues through reconciliation and negotiation,” spokesman Farhatullah Babar said. “We want to bring down the political temperature.”
Sharif’s party dismissed the decision as an “eyewash”.
“We will go ahead with the long march. No one can stop it. It will be a milestone in Pakistan’s history,” Sharif, who threw his weight behind the lawyers’ protest after Zardari dismissed the provincial administration in Punjab led by his brother, told a rally in Lahore this evening.
“As far as the review petition is concerned, we do not recognise these courts, the chief justice of these courts because these courts are unconstitutional,” a spokesman for Sharif’s PML(N) said.
“These courts have been established by Pervez Musharraf through an emergency order. Therefore, they do not have constitutional position,” Siddiq Al Farooq told a TV channel.
Police temporarily detained dozens of activists across the country, including five people at a gathering of hundreds of lawyers and Sharif supporters in the central city of Multan.
“So far our attitude is soft, but we can change our strategy,” Ali Ahmad Kurd, the leader of the country’s lawyers’ movement, said in Quetta after authorities allegedly prevented him from boarding a plane to Lahore.
“When one path is blocked, God opens 100 others, and we will reach Lahore and then Islamabad,” said Kurd, whose road convoy was turned back by police a day earlier.
Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said the government put the army on notice that troops might be needed to protect “sensitive areas” in Islamabad and elsewhere.
“When the situation deteriorates, gets out of hand of police, paramilitary (troops), only then the army is deployed,” Abbas said.
Earlier in the day, in another sign of strain on the government, information minister Rehman announced her resignation from the cabinet after the private Geo TV channel complained that cable TV companies had blocked its programming in several cities. Geo accused Zardari of ordering the restrictions — an allegation denied by his spokesman.
Rehman, who has often spoken in defence of media freedoms, didn’t explain her decision, and the channel appeared to be available again today in major cities.
Zardari said Rehman was “ditching” the government at a time of crisis, but she replied that she saw “no point” in continuing in her post, a source said. Rehman also told the President that the media could not be “switched on and off like a light bulb”, the source added.

Telegraph Kolkata // 15-03-2009

Sharif defiant, troops deployed in Pak capital

14 Mar 2009, 1656 hrs IST, AGENCIES

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday ordered troops to be deployed at sensitive areas in the capital as the threat by the opposition to go for a mass sit-in outside the Parliament neared, but the army said the deployment would take place “only if the situation warrants.” Meanwhile, PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif has refused to negotiate with the Government and said the Long March to Islamabad will
continue despite government crackdown.

The army said it had received a request from the government to deploy troops at sensitive locations to maintain law and order during the protest by lawyers and opposition parties.

The troops will remain on alert and will “move only if the situation warrants it”, chief military
spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told Dawn News channel.

He refused to identify the sensitive locations. The lawyers’ movement and opposition parties, including former premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, launched a “long march” on March 12 to pressure the ruling Pakistan People’s Party to reinstate judges deposed by former President Pervez Musharraf.

The organisers of the protest have said it will end with a sit-in near parliament but the government has said it will not let the demonstrators enter Islamabad.

The army’s Rawalpindi-based 111 Brigade, which has usually played a crucial role in past military coups, held a meeting on Thursday to review the law and order situation in the capital and nearby areas.

Lawyers and opposition have said the authorities have detained over 1,200 people to thwart the protest.

Prohibitory orders banning protests and rallies have been imposed in Sindh, Punjab and North West Frontier Province but the protestors have said they are determined to march to the capital.

The authorities have sealed all highways leading to the capital and have forced halt to three big opposition motorcades converging towards Islamabad.

Courtesy :: The Times of India // 15-03-2009.

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4 Responses to “Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control Over Capital :: Opposition Leaders Confined.”

  1. Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control … Says:

    […] Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control … […]

  2. US troops will conduct combat operations in Iraq (AP) — But As For Me Says:

    […] Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control … […]

    • alertpak Says:

      Wouldn’t you see the plight of minorities in Pakistan ?
      Pl publish details of disappearing of Hindu Minorities there from http://www.alertpak.wordpress.com .
      Is there anything spl for ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pundits ( Scholars ) from Kashmir valley ?
      You may tag my blog to you.
      Thank You.
      M. Rahaman.

  3. Eyes on ex-rebels as El Salvador votes (AFP) — But As For Me Says:

    […] Towards a Civil war in Pakistan :: Military About to take Control … […]

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