‘Pakistan faces fight over post-election government’

Updated 01 January 2013

‘Pakistan faces fight over post-election government’

The leader of the Pakistan Muslim league (PML) and former prime minister of Pakistan, Choudhary Shujat Hussein, says that his country's elections will be held on time, but the real challenge will lie in trying to form a new government after the polls. Speaking at the Pakistani Journalist Forum in Jeddah on Sunday, Hussein also claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a former ally and leader of a breakaway part of the party is supporting groups "which can create riots."
"We will make sure that the elections are not canceled unless and until the order comes from the court or military,” he said.
On the issue of his party deciding to join the government of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) recently, he said that the PPP government was fed up with the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM). He said that the PML would have divided into two competing factions if it had not joined up with the government.
“If we had not taken steps to join the government our party members would have divided into two groups, half joining the PPP and the other half joining the Nawaz Muslim League." He added that there were ongoing talks with religious groups including the Sunni unity group. “If any National Unity Forum occurs, we will think about it. We had a problem with the PPP, not with (Asif Ali) Zardari (Pakistani President).
Isn’t it a great victory for us that the PPP has 22 ministers in the government and our party has 17 ministers in which the prime minister and others are included?”
He also called on all parties and role players to bring peace and stability to Karachi. “The whole city is burning and the blood of innocent people are being spilled on the streets. If the people can’t stop this killing in the city, how will they ensure the national elections can take place on time and in peace,” he said.
He added that his party has strong support in Punjab province, particularly among religious groups. He said it was not yet time to seek cooperation with Nawaz Sharif.
Hussein said the proposed Kala Bagh hydroelectric dam in Punjab province was "history" because three provisional governments are against the project.


Mexico confirms first three cases of coronavirus, linked to Italy

Updated 29 February 2020

Mexico confirms first three cases of coronavirus, linked to Italy

  • The three men are believed to have visited northern Italy
  • Two more suspected cases are under analysis in the central state of Guanajuato and one in northwestern Durango
MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s health ministry said the country has confirmed three cases of the coronavirus, becoming the second Latin American nation reached by the global outbreak.
The three men — two in Mexico City and one in the northern state of Sinaloa — are all believed to have visited northern Italy, the epicenter of the virus in Europe.
“Probably all three were infected from the same source. All three are imported cases,” Jose Luis Alomia, general director of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, said at a press conference Friday.
Senior health ministry official Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a separate news conference that one of the men, a 35-year-old in the capital, “has a mild, mild illness” with symptoms “similar to that of a cold.”
“He is a young individual and so he is at very low risk,” he said.
The patient and five members of his family have been isolated at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Lopez-Gatell added.
The second case, a 41-year-old man who returned from Bergamo in Italy, is in isolation at a hotel in Sinaloa after being tested by regional authorities, officials said.
A 59-year-old man in Mexico City who also visited northern Italy is the third case but authorities did not say whether he had been hospitalized.
Italy has recorded 650 cases of the coronavirus and 17 deaths across cities in the north.
In Mexico, two more, suspected cases are under analysis in the central state of Guanajuato and one in northwestern Durango.
“It is not a national or health emergency,” Lopez-Gatell said, urging Mexicans to remain calm and not panic-buy protective items such as masks.
Mexico is the second Latin American nation to confirm coronavirus infections after Brazil said it had a case on Wednesday.
More than 50 countries have now reported cases worldwide.
The virus has infected more than 85,000 people and over 2,900 have died — mostly in China where the epidemic started.