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.”


Afghanistan cease-fire push in focus in US-Taliban talks

Updated 18 December 2018
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Afghanistan cease-fire push in focus in US-Taliban talks

  • On Monday, the delegation met officials from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE ahead of their meeting with Khalilzad
  • Taliban officials were resisting the cease-fire proposal as they felt it would damage their cause and help US and Afghan forces

KABUL, PESHAWAR: US and Taliban officials have discussed proposals for a six-month cease-fire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops as talks aimed at setting up peace negotiations went into a second day, Taliban sources said.

The three-day meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year.

An Afghan government delegation traveled to the city and met Khalilzad.

However, despite US insistence that any peace settlement must be agreed between Afghans, the Taliban have refused to talk directly with officials from the Kabul government, which they consider an illegitimate, foreign-appointed regime.

“Discussions are taking place with the representatives of the United States about ending the occupation, a matter that does not concern the Kabul administration whatsoever,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

“The entire agenda is focused on issues concerning the occupiers and talks will exclusively be held with them.”

The Taliban delegation was led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of the movement’s political office in Qatar and included members of the leadership group based in Quetta, Pakistan and the chief of staff of Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

“It’s a well coordinated meeting where members from the political commissions and Quetta shura are both participating for the first time,” said one peace activist in close contact with the Taliban side at the meeting.

The presence in the delegation of senior officials close to the Taliban leader underscored the importance of the talks, which are shaping up as the most serious attempt to open negotiations since at least 2015.

On Monday, the delegation met officials from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE ahead of their meeting with Khalilzad, who was appointed to oversee Washington’s peace effort in September. There was no immediate comment from the US Embassy in Kabul.

Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US delegation was pressing for a six-month cease-fire as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.

For their part, Taliban priorities included the release of Taliban prisoners and a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

However, Taliban officials were resisting the cease-fire proposal as they felt it would damage their cause and help US and Afghan forces.

The latest round of diplomacy comes about a year after the US sent thousands of extra troops to Afghanistan and stepped up air strikes to record levels, with the aim of pushing the Taliban to accept talks.

An Afghan government team traveled to Abu Dhabi “to begin proximity dialogue with the Taliban delegation and to prepare for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides,” government spokesman Haroon Chakansuri said in a statement.

But there was no sign from the Taliban they were ready to accept talks with the government and the Kabul delegation were based in an Abu Dhabi hotel away from the location of the talks. The US says the aim of the talks is to facilitate an Afghan-led process and the inclusion of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan in the talks reflects a US desire to bring in countries with an interest in Afghanistan.