Pak court extends ex-President Musharraf’s remand by 14 days

Updated 05 May 2013
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Pak court extends ex-President Musharraf’s remand by 14 days

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court yesterday ordered former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to remain in custody for a further two weeks ahead of his trial for unlawfully sacking judges during his rule, officials said.
“Pervez Musharraf’s remand is extended for judicial lock-up for 14 days, he should be presented before the court on May 18,” Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi, ordered.
Police had asked the judge to grant the custodial extension saying the investigation into Musharraf’s activities was still under way.
Lawyers for Musharraf, who is locked in his own home, which has been declared a sub-jail while he is awaiting trial, filed a bail application in the court and the judge fixed a hearing for May 6.
The court was also asked if Musharraf’s trial could be held inside his plush villa, citing security reasons, but the matter was left pending.
“It has been brought into my notice that the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad issued a notification for the jail trial, but approval from Islamabad high court is needed in this regard,” the judge said.
Musharraf was placed in police custody at his home following his arrest on April 19, in an unprecedented move against a former army chief of staff ahead of key elections.
He was arrested for making a decision to sack judges when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007 — a move that hastened his downfall.
He also faces charges of conspiracy to murder opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and over the death of a rebel leader during a 2006 military operation.
However, his party on Friday announced it will boycott next week’s historic election after a court on Tuesday banned him from standing for the rest of his life.
Officials visit prisoner in India
Pakistani embassy officials visited a hospital in north India yesterday where a Pakistani prisoner was in critical condition in the intensive care unit after being attacked by an Indian inmate.
Convicted murderer Sanaullah Ranjay suffered multiple head injuries in a prison in India’s northern city of Jammu in an apparent tit-for-tat attack after an Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, was fatally assaulted in Pakistan.
On Friday, Ranjay was airlifted to a government hospital in the city of Chandigarh, 250 km north of New Delhi.
A spokeswoman for the government hospital said Ranjay was in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator as his condition “continues to remain critical.” The Pakistani High Commission (embassy) officials “came to the hospital and we have given them Ranjay’s medical update,” added Manju Wadwalkar, the spokeswoman of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Hospital.
Ranjay, who hails from the city of Sialkot in Pakistan, was attacked by a prisoner who was identified as a former Indian army soldier nearly 24 hours after Singh’s death in Lahore.
India’s foreign ministry said Pakistan High Commission officials had been given daily access to Ranjay.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said earlier in the week in a statement that the “obvious retaliation to the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh is condemnable.”


Dutch, UK polls open, starting 4 days of European elections

Updated 45 min 52 sec ago
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Dutch, UK polls open, starting 4 days of European elections

  • Voters across Europe will elect 751 lawmakers in the elections
  • UK’s 73 lawmakers in the EU Parliament will lose their jobs if the country leaves the union

THE HAGUE: Dutch and UK polls opened Thursday in elections for the European Parliament, starting four days of voting across the 28-nation bloc that pits supporters of deeper integration against populist Euroskeptics who want more power for their national governments.
A half hour after voting started in the Netherlands, polls opened across the United Kingdom, the only other country voting Thursday, and a nation still wrestling with its plans to leave the European Union altogether and the leadership of embattled Prime Minister Theresa May.
The elections, which end Sunday night, come as support is surging for populists and nationalists who want to rein in the EU’s powers, while traditional powerhouses like France and Germany insist that unity is the best buffer against the shifting economic and security interests of an emerging new world order.
French President Emmanuel Macron says the challenge is “not to cede to a coalition of destruction and disintegration” that will seek to dismantle EU unity built up over the past six decades.
In a significant challenge to those centrist forces, populists appear largely united heading into the elections. On Saturday, Italy’s anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was joined at a rally by 10 other nationalist leaders, including far-right leaders Marine Le Pen of France’s National Rally party and Joerg Meuthen of the Alternative for Germany party.
On Thursday morning, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn released a message with a warning that “the far-right is on the rise” and adding that “the actions we take now will have huge consequences for our future.”
Voters across Europe elect a total of 751 lawmakers, although that number is set to drop to 705 when the UK leaves the EU. The Dutch make up just 26 currently and 29 after Brexit. The UK has 73 European lawmakers, who would lose their jobs when their country completes its messy divorce from the EU.
Results of the four days of voting will not be officially released until Sunday night, but Dutch national broadcaster NOS will publish an exit poll after ballot boxes close Thursday night.
The Netherlands could provide a snapshot of what is to come. Polls show the right-wing populist Forum for Democracy led by charismatic intellectual Thierry Baudet running neck-and-neck with the center-right VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
While the country, an affluent trading nation, profits from the EU’s open borders and single market, it also is a major contributor to EU coffers. Skeptical Dutch voters in 2005 rejected a proposed EU constitution in a referendum.
Baudet, whose party emerged as a surprise winner of provincial elections in March, identifies more with hard-line Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban than with the nationalist populist movement led by Salvini, although in a debate Wednesday night he called Salvini a “hero of Europe” for his crackdown on migration.