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Under arrest

A register of reports and views from the Pakistan press

Written by Ruchika Talwar | Published: April 20, 2013 2:46:58 am

A register of reports and views from the Pakistan pressUnder arrest

Pervez Musharraf,who expected harsh treatment after landing in Pakistan earlier this year to contest the general elections,secured anticipatory bail. After declaring his candidature from four places,his nomination papers were rejected from two. When he appealed against this in court,the court rejected the plea. Now,he has been put under house arrest. The News reported on April 16: “The Election Tribunal on Tuesday rejected the nomination papers submitted by former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for… Islamabad and… Kasur… Musharraf had appealed against the rejection of his nomination papers… The Election Tribunal,however,retained the decision… and declined Musharraf’s appeal. The nomination papers of Pervez Musharraf for… Karachi have already been rejected while his nomination papers for… Chitral have been challenged.”

The Express Tribune reported on April 19: “An Islamabad magistrate’s court granted two-day transit remand of former president Pervez Musharraf on Friday in judges’ house arrest case… The former president — who fled the court yesterday after an arrest order was issued against him — appeared before the court today.” The report added: “Earlier on April 18,Islamabad High Court judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui cancelled the bail application of Musharraf in the judges’ detention case and ordered his arrest,prompting the former president to immediately walk out of the packed courtroom. No one tried to stop him. Had the order been implemented,it would have been the first time in Pakistan’s history that a former chief of army staff and former president would have been arrested on court premises.” The Upper House of Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution demanding Musharraf’s trial.

Pre-election violence

VIOLENCE in Pakistan during the pre-election period is putting a question mark over the election. Extremist forces like the Taliban are targeting parties like the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The right-wing parties are not completely safe either. Sanaullah Zehri,a strongman of the Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) in restive Balochistan lost a large part of his immediate family in one such bomb attack. The Nation reported on April 16: “At least four people,including PML-N Balochistan chapter’s President Sanaullah Zehri’s son,brother and nephew were killed in a blast near the leader’s convoy in Khuzdar district of the province… Zehri remained safe in the blast… Zehri,who is provincial head of PML-N,was on a campaign trail and when his convoy was passing through a bridge near Khuzdar…” There was a rocket attack on an election rally in South Waziristan on Friday. Prior to this,Sindh,mostly Karachi,witnessed several attacks. The Friday Times in its current issue had a lead editorial on the extent and gravity of this “electoral” violence.

Fight for their rights

TRANSGENDERS of Pakistan are getting involved in the electoral process. Daily Times carried a detailed feature on April 19: “Stereotyped as dancers,beggars and prostitutes,Pakistan’s vibrant but shunned transgender community is striking out into politics with individuals contesting elections for the first time… They may only be seven out of 23,000 candidates with little chance of getting elected,but they have livened up an otherwise lacklustre campaign and set an important marker for their rights in the conservative Muslim country… ‘People don’t believe we can be corrupt because we don’t have children and families,’ says independent candidate Sanam Faqeer in Sukkur. ‘We don’t need to collect wealth and build villas for our next generations by stealing people’s money as other politicians do,’ she added.”

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