Archive for the ‘international community’ Category

Russia Cashes in on Kosovo Fears

March 9, 2008

Time Magazine

By splitting the West and the wider international community, the U.S.-backed declaration of independence by Kosovo has given Russia an opening. Countries concerned with separatist problems of their own, from Spain or Cyprus to China, have been unable to follow the U.S. lead in recognizing Kosovo’s breakaway from Serbia. And Russia has sought to exploit the gaps that have emerged as a result.

Some two hundred people protest with signs reading “Kosovo is Serbia” and waving Serbian flags, during a march in the center of Bratislava on March 5, 2008. Serbia was in danger of blocking its own path to eventual European Union membership, a senior US official said here Friday amid political turmoil in Belgrade over Kosovo’s US-backed independence.
(AFP/File/Samuel Kubani)

In Serbia, itself, Russia capitalized literally, on the standoff over Kosovo. In Belgrade, just a week before he became Russia’s President-elect, Dmitri Medvedev supervised Serbia’s signing up to a prospective Russian Southern Stream natural gas pipe-line. Serbia also sold to Russia a 51% stake of Naftna Industrija Srbija (NIS), a much prized national oil company for $614 million and the promise of a further investment of $770 million. Russia plans build a major gas storage facility in Serbia, making the country a key base for Russian energy supplies to Europe. This consolidation of ties with Serbia achieves two Russian strategic goals: taking over national energy assets of European countries; and keeping erstwhile allies of the Soviet Union from being drawn into the Western fold. To emphasize warming ties, travel between Russia and Serbia will no longer require visas.

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Pakistan: Post-Election Assessment from Muhammad

February 19, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom,
Dear Sir

I hope you and your team at the Peace and Freedom will be alright. Situation in Pakistan as usual is still critical.

There will be no denying the fact that President Pervez Musharraf has fulfilled the promise made with the international community about holding fair and free election.

The media has been creating the impression that Musharraf has lost the election, but according to majority of tribesmen he has won as by holding election he defeated terrorists.

Terrorists have tried their best to halt the elections, but they failed in their bid.

Now according to reports, in the backdrop of the election results thus far, no party could obtain clear majority and the alliance governments in centre and three provinces seem imminent, while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has attained the position of forming its own government.

Unofficial and provisional results showed that PPP has achieved the edge by obtaining maximum number of national assembly seats totaling thus far 88. Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) with 65 seats occupies coveted position, while the former ruling party Muslim League-Q could not obtain clear majority and it has bagged 37 seats.

Among other major parties of the national assembly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) secured 19 seats, Awami National Party 10, Muslim League (Functional) 4, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) 3, independent candidates and other political parties 27 seats.

Among the provincial assemblies, PML-N has emerged as the largest party in Punjab assembly by securing 102 seats, PPP 78 and PML-Q got 66 seats. PPP has emerged as the largest party in the Sindh assembly and it has secured 68 seats, while MQM got 38, PML-Q 9 and PML (Functional) 7 seats. ANP in NWFP came to the fore as largest party bagging 31 seats, while PPP17 and independent candidates obtained 10 seats in the House here. Previously, MMA government was ruling here, but this time MMA got 9 seats only. PLM-Q that lagged behind all across the country, clinched 17 seats in Balochistan assembly, while PPP 7 and 8 independents reserved their seats in the House.

It is interesting to note that Muslim League-N leader Nawaz Sharif Tuesday called President Musharraf to step down from office.

He said the decision about eligibility of President Musharraf should be taken from the same court that was hearing the case.

Addressing press briefing in Lahore Nawaz said the freedom of judiciary and democracy are the foremost targets of his agenda. He said he was talking with all parties for formation of the government.

The PML-N leader said after restoration of the judiciary it would be decided whether Musharraf’s election as president is legal or not.

He said the judiciary could not regain its freedom without restoration of the deposed judges. He also demanded release of all detained lawyers.

He said the matter of Dr. Abdul Qadeer would also be reconsidered. Nawaz said he would meet the Co-chairman f Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari in a day or two to discuss all concerned matters. He said he was in contact with ANP’s Asfandyar Wali to discuss all options for the formation of the coalition government.

Sharif also his party would lead a coalition government in Punjab and all parties will be consulted on the matter.

He said the PCO of Nov 3, 2007 has to be nullified and the judges will have to be reinstated. On question of the president, he said the restored judiciary can abjudicate over legality of president’s election.

He said he expects the army to abide by the constitution and law.

Nawaz said he is committed to upholding his agenda of upholding democracy, rule of law, sovereignty, independence of judiciary. Lauding media role and its struggle against efforts to gag it.

Responding to questions, Nawaz said PML N is ready to work alongside any political force for stability of Pakistan. All democratic forces must unite on one platform, he said.

Nawaz invited all political parties who have won elections to sit down and struggle against dictatorship. He hinted at taking in the PML Q leaders who want to join their “mother party.”
President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday dismissed calls by head of PML-N, Mian Nawaz Sharif in which he urged Musharraf to step down.

Presidential spokesman Maj-Gen Retd. Rashid Qureshi told media that Musharraf had already been elected President for five years term. Rashid Qureshi said President was ready to work with the party winning the elections. He said whatever steps that would be taken by the President, would be in the wider interests of Pakistan.

Dear Sir, I want to bring in your kind notice that Pakistan is still needing Pervez Musharraf as the country is still at war with terrorists. Elimination of terrorism in Pakistan is a must for peace in the world.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,
Tribal Areas Pakistan