Pakistan post 2008 elections

Written by  //  April 30, 2008  //  Pakistan  //  No comments

For previous news and opinion see Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and the aftermath and Pakistan post 2008 elections – Updates

30 April
Pakistan’s planned accord with militants alarms U.S.
By ERIC SCHMITT AND MARK MAZZETTI
(IHT) With cross-border attacks into Afghanistan on the rise, Washington faces the fact that its options are now even more limited, in part because of the change of leadership in Pakistan.
Cross-border attacks into Afghanistan by militants based in Pakistan doubled in March from the same period a year ago and have not diminished in April, a Western military official said, while Pakistani counterinsurgency operations in the tribal areas have dropped sharply during the talks.
American counterterrorism officials express concern that the new coalition government in Islamabad may withdraw some of the 120,000 Pakistani troops in the border area or curtail flights by the Central Intelligence Agency’s armed Predator aircraft in the region.
March 11
At Least 24 Killed as Two Bombs Strike Pakistan
March 10
(NYT) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The leaders of the two major political parties here, in an unexpectedly strong show of unity against President Pervez Musharraf, agreed Sunday that they would reinstate the judges fired by the president and would seek to strip him of crucial powers.
Mr. Zardari and Mr. Sharif, appearing at a news conference together, said they would implement a Charter for Democracy that included removing the president’s power to dissolve Parliament and his power to appoint the chiefs of the military services. More
February 29
(NYT) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Bush administration’s continued backing of President Pervez Musharraf, despite the overwhelming rejection of his party by voters this month, is fueling a new level of frustration in Pakistan with the United States.
Pakistanis say the Bush administration is grossly misjudging the political mood in Pakistan and squandering an opportunity to win support from the Pakistani public for its fight against terrorism. The opposition parties that won the Feb. 18 parliamentary elections say they are moderate and pro-American. By working with them, analysts say, Washington could gain a vital, new ally. More
February 26
Blast Kills Surgeon General of Pakistani Army
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A top Pakistani Army general was killed Monday when a suicide attacker approached his car at a traffic light in Rawalpindi and blew himself up, military officials said.
The suicide attack took place as militants sympathetic to the Taliban in the tribal areas issued statements to the Pakistani news media urging the new government to stop the military operations and initiate dialogue to restore peace.
Pakistani political parties are in negotiations to form a government after the Feb. 18 elections,
February 21
(TIME) Musharraf’s Loss: Trouble for U.S.
The Bush administration has called President Pervez Musharraf America’s most important ally in the war on terrorism for so long, now, that it may well become the Pakistani leader’s political epitaph. He may need one soon. Three days after voters in parliamentary elections overwhelmingly rejected Musharraf’s ruling party — and by extension Musharraf’s own presidency — White House officials are digesting the reality that their man in Islamabad might not be in power for much longer.
February 20
In Pakistan, a new political order
Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the widower of assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, said Tuesday that the new Parliament will change several of the country’s policies. New approaches will include more dialogue with Islamic militants and a restoration of press freedom and judicial independence, Zardari said.
Musharraf resigned to ceremonial role as opposition parties prepare for power
By Andrew Buncombe in Islamabad
Severely weakened by a crushing election defeat and facing the prospect of possible impeachment, Pervez Musharraf has reportedly resigned himself to serving a “ceremonial” role as the country’s president.
Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and part of an American delegation that met with Mr Musharraf yesterday morning, said the president appeared to have accepted the reality of the election result, which saw his parliamentary allies soundly defeated.

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