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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/17/09

Political Heat In Pakistan Up As Terrorism Is Still A Threat

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Message Muhammad Khurshid
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Now this will be a real difficult test for US President Barack Obama as how he can save Pakistan from total collapse as the decision of Supreme Court Against the National Reconciliational Ordinance (NRO) has further pushed the country to the dangerous situation. Actually at the moment Pakistan is a frontline state in war on terrorism. Sympathisers of terrorists have been trying to destablise Pakistan as they want to divert the attention from the activities of terrorists.

Now it is still unclear as what will be the situation in Pakistan after the decision of Supreme Court. But one thing is clear that attention has been diverted from war on terrorism to the political crisis in Pakistan. At the moment it seems that terrorists are successful in their mission.

According to some reports carried out by various newspapers, President Asif Ali Zardari faced fresh calls to step down Thursday after the Supreme Court struck down an amnesty that had protected the increasingly unpopular leader and several of his political allies from corruption charges.

The decision late Wednesday sharpened political tensions in Pakistan just as the United States and its other Western allies want it to unite and fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants based along the Afghan border.

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While it is generally agreed that President Zardari has immunity from prosecution as president, his opponents now plan to challenge his eligibility to hold the post. Zardari and his aides say any corruption charges against him are politically motivated and that he will not step down.

Critics said he was morally obligated to resign, at least while the court heard any challenges to his rule.

"It will be in his own interest, it will be in the interest of his party and it will be good for the system,' said Khawaja Asif, a senior leader from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz party.

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The amnesty was part of a US-brokered deal with former military ruler Pervez Musharraf that allowed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to return home from self-exile and participate in politics without facing charges her party says were politically motivated. Zardari, Bhutto's husband, took control of the party after Bhutto was assassinated in 2007.

The amnesty, known as the National Reconciliation Ordinance, either stopped corruption investigations or probes into other alleged misdeeds or wiped away convictions in cases involving up to 8,000 ministers, bureaucrats or politicians from across the spectrum.

Civil rights activists have long argued that the amnesty unfairly protected the wealthy elite.

Zardari has long been haunted by corruption allegations dating back to governments led in the 1990s by his late wife. He spent several years in prison under previous administrations. The Supreme Court this week heard allegations he misappropriated as much as $1.5 billion.

The court on Wednesday singled out an alleged multimillion dollar money laundering case involving Zardari and his late wife that had been heard in a Swiss court until the attorney general under Musharraf withdrew proceedings against them last year as a result of the amnesty.


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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)
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