May 17, 2013
By Rashid Khattak Despite threats of violence by Taliban insurgents, Pakistani turnout for Saturday's elections was at 60 percent, with voters clearly signaling their confidence in the country's democratic process. The party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a military coup in 1999 and now leads the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has won a majority of seats in the National Assembly. Now comes the difficult part. The country is plagued by terrorism, inflation, an energy crisis, and a weak economy and joblessness.
May 13, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Nawaz Sharif, a wealthy businessman who twice served as Pakistan's prime minister in the 1990s and brought the country into the world's nuclear club, appeared Saturday night to be headed to an unprecedented third term in the post. He declared victory to supporters in Lahore, where his Pakistan Muslim League-N has long dominated politics, after partial and unofficial results in a landmark national election showed his center-right party had locked in enough seats in the National Assembly to lead a coalition government.
May 12, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Despite a bloody campaign marred by Taliban attacks, Pakistan holds historic elections Saturday pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister once exiled by the army and an incumbent blamed for power blackouts and inflation. The vote marks the first time in Pakistan's 65-year history that a civilian government has completed its full term and handed over power in democratic elections. Previous governments have been toppled by military coups or sacked by presidents allied with the powerful army.
May 10, 2013 |
Benazir Bhutto's ghost hovers over Saturday's elections for parliament in Pakistan. The face of the gutsy former prime minister, who was assassinated as she campaigned in Pakistan's last national elections, still adorns commercials of her Pakistan People's Party. (It won in 2008, but is failing this time). What is missing in this campaign is Bhutto's plea for Pakistan to confront its Taliban problem before the group undermines the state and society. I was in Pakistan at the time and can't forget her passion.
May 7, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Voters head to the polls Saturday to elect a new parliament after five years of bitter disputes with the United States over bases for the Afghan Taliban, U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas, and the covert operation that killed Osama bin Laden. But those topics have been largely ignored in the election campaign. Instead, this election season - the first time in the country's history that elections have followed the completion of a civilian government's term without a military coup - has been characterized by a growing sentiment among Pakistanis that casting votes is less about political preferences than it is about civic responsibility.
May 7, 2013
By Rashid Khattak For Pakistanis in Philadelphia and abroad, Saturday's election is seen as a significant step for the future of democracy there. This is the first time in Pakistan's 66-year history that a democratically elected government is completing its five-year term and has scheduled elections. Mohammad Tariq, a 40-year-old Philly cabdriver from Pakistan, says the continuity that results from the democratic process is a must for honest politicians to emerge and for the country to develop.
May 6, 2013 |
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - Military operations and insurgent attacks in lawless districts of Pakistan left eight members of the security forces and around 30 militants and criminal suspects dead on Sunday, officials said. Two soldiers and 16 militants were killed in clashes in the Tirah Valley area of the Khyber tribal region in the northwest, the military said in a statement. Another three soldiers were wounded in the remote mountainous district near the Afghan border. The army launched an offensive last month into the valley, targeting the Pakistani Taliban and an allied group, Lashkar-e-Islam.
May 4, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan border policeman was killed in an exchange of fire with Pakistani troops along the country's contested eastern border, an Afghan security official said Thursday, in an incident that threatens to further inflame tensions. Pakistani forces fired artillery rounds late Wednesday at Afghan border police in the Goshta district of Nangarhar province, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi. In an ensuing five-hour firefight, one border policeman was killed, he said.
April 26, 2013 |
BRUSSELS, Belgium - After meeting for more three hours here Wednesday with Afghan and Pakistani leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry reported progress in relaunching talks but warned, "We're not going to raise expectations or promise results that can't be delivered. " Instead, Kerry said before boarding a plane to return to Washington, the leaders agreed to "under-promise, but deliver. " "We're all going to go home and do our homework," Kerry said, flanked by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.
April 20, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf fled court in a speeding vehicle Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case involving his decision to fire senior judges while in power over five years ago. The harried escape broadcast live on Pakistani TV marked a new low in Musharraf's troubled return from exile last month to seek a political comeback in the May 11 parliamentary election. Musharraf, 69, made his exit with the help of bodyguards, who pushed him past police officers and paramilitary soldiers and helped him into a black SUV that sped off with a member of his security team hanging on. Lawyers shouted taunts: "Look who is running!