Bhutto Announces Return to Pakistan After Court Rebukes Musharraf
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto again announced her intention to return to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates ahead of the November, 2007 Pakistani national elections.
Ms. Bhutto announced her intentions following a stinging rebuke of current President Pervez Musharraf by the Pakastani Supreme Court which ruled that his decision to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudrhy was illegal.
Gen. Musharraf had removed the Pakistani jurist after the court ruled against him in a constitutional case challenging Musharraf's continued service as both Pakistan's president and army chief of staff.
Bhutto has been in self-imposed exile, traveling and lecturing around the world, including the United States where she met with Bush administration officials recently, including the president, since being charged with corruption after her election as the first female Prime Minister of a modern Muslim state in 1988. Ms. Bhutto and her husband, Arif Zardari, had been accused of kickbacks and laundering government funds through Swiss banks; charges Bhutto vehemently denies and maintains are politically motivated. Interpol has issued a so-called "red notice" for Bhutto's arrest, although many experts have claimed the warrant has no legal force.
Current President Musharraf introduced an amendment to the Pakistani constitution in 2002 banning prime ministers from serving more than two terms; a move perceived as undermining political opposition in Pakistan to prevent Ms. Bhutto and another opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, from seeking the office again.
Bhutto is leader-in-exile of the opposition Pakistani People's Party (PPP) which won sixty-two seats, compared to the Pakastani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which won fifteen seats, in parliamentary elections of October, 2002.
Israelis Sue German Government
A group of Israeli lawyers has brought suit against the German government seeking liability for claims alleged by the offspring of Holocaust survivors for psychiatric counseling and psychological trauma resulting from their parents' imprisonment in concentration camps.
The suit seeks monetary damages from Germany even though the plaintiffs are not Holocaust survivors and the current German government has no proximate relation to the Nazi regime which instituted genocidal practices more than sixty years ago.
The suit is highly controversial in light of the current displacement and imprisonment of hundreds of Palestinians by the Israeli government. Israel has repeatedly confiscated Palestinian real estate holdings and has been accused of human rights violations by imprisoning Palestinian political opponents in the occupied territories.
Bush Administration Shows No Diplomatic Progress Ahead of September Conference on Mideast
The Bush Administration has shown little evidence of laying the necessary diplomatic framework for successful international negotiations ahead of planned talks in September in New York.
Given the administration's lack of progress in achieving basic benchmarks in Iraq, and the perceived failure of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to demonstrate any major breakthroughs in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, many international observers wonder whether the White House is making real, substantive progress on the diplomatic fronts necessary to sustain US security interests in the region and establish the basic, necessary framework for a substantial Mideast peace settlement.
The talks in New York are tentatively scheduled for September, 2007 to coincide with general opening session of the United Nations.