Deepening crisis in Pakistan

Updated 17 January 2013
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Deepening crisis in Pakistan

The Supreme Court’s order to arrest 16 people allegedly involved in the rental power project scam including the prime minister came as a complete surprise to all and sundry. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf often referred to as “Raja Rental” by his opponents for allegedly accepting kickbacks for rental power projects when he was water and power minister. His elevation to the top position was extensively criticized because of his alleged involvement in the scam.

Definitely, the top court’s judgment has given another big blow to the beleaguered government in the country, which is already beset by many challenges at multiple fronts. While the government has so far successfully confronted many challenges relating to governance, the greatest obstacles it has found in its path coming from the proactive judiciary. The PPP-led government had to replace the then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani over the Swiss letter case and its ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani over the “memogate” case. And now it seems that its second chief executive is also on his way out.

In my opinion the timing of this ruling is questionable, as it has come at a time when Tahirul Qadri, a leading religious scholar, is in the middle of a protest march in Islamabad calling for the removal of the government. It makes many to believe that there is some tacit understanding between the judiciary and Qadri and therefore the top court strategically timed the ruling to coincide with the march.

Contrary to popular perception that the order against the prime minister implies criminality, Ashraf is still the head of the regime, and will carry on to be so even if he is taken into custody. The right thing for the ruling coalition to do is to remain calm and initiate dialogue with its allies and opposition parties to get their consensus on the right next step. — Shaukat Naeem Ghumman, Riyadh

 


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia