Asif Ali Zardari

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Pakistan's Prez Steps Down, 1st in History to Finish Term

Asif Ali Zardari hands over power after 5-year term

(Newser) - The bar isn't set really high in Pakistani politics, because leaving office willingly when you're supposed to makes history: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down today at the end of his five-year term, becoming the first democratically elected president in the country's history to complete his... More »

Pakistan Begins Landmark Vote

For first time, one civilian government hands off to another

(Newser) - Defying threats of violence, Pakistanis streamed to the polls today for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent. But militant attacks that killed 22 people underlined the risks many people took just casting their ballots.The violence was a continuation... More »

Pakistan: Arrest Prime Minister

Meanwhile, cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri makes waves

(Newser) - Fresh turmoil in Pakistan today, as its Supreme Court ordered that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf be arrested within 24 hours. The move isn't exactly a surprise , but the drama there isn't limited to Ashraf's situation, which springs from accusations that the former water and power minister... More »

Pakistan Court Threatens to Oust Prime Minister Again

They demand he open corruption investigation into Zardari

(Newser) - Don't get too comfortable, Raja Pervez Ashraf. Pakistan's new prime minister may only be on the job for a matter of weeks, thanks to the ongoing showdown/constitutional crisis/farce between his party and the Supreme Court. The court today ordered Ashraf to reopen the long-festering corruption case against Asif... More »

Pakistan Picks Another PM

But Raja Pervez Ashraf already accused of corruption

(Newser) - It's been a wild few days for Pakistan's leadership. First the country's high court gave Yousuf Raza Gilani the boot; then the ruling party's new nominee for prime minister was hit with an arrest warrant over alleged drug trafficking. Now, the party has nominated a new... More »

Pakistan Nominates New Prime Minister

...and a warrant is immediately issued for his arrest

(Newser) - No sooner had Pakistan's ruling party nominated a new prime minister today than a warrant was issued for his arrest on drug trafficking charges. The PPP picked Makhdoom Shahabuddin to replace the recently ousted Yousuf Gilani, the AP reports. Shahabuddin is a longtime PPP stalwart, having held various positions... More »

Court Disqualifies Pakistan PM

Yousuf Raza Gilani refused to step down after April contempt conviction

(Newser) - Add Pakistan to the list of countries thrown into fresh turmoil this morning: The country's Supreme Court today ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from office as a result of his April contempt conviction . Gilani had refused to reopen a corruption case against his boss,... More »

Report: Obama Snubs Zardari as Relations Unravel

Pakistan refuses to open supply lines to Afghanistan until US apologizes

(Newser) - President Obama has said that Pakistan is the key to the future of Afghanistan and the region—just as US-Pakistan relations appear to be deteriorating. Obama is now refusing to meet with President Asif Ali Zardari at the NATO summit in Chicago, reports the Guardian . For Obama, the most important... More »

Pakistan PM Convicted, Serves 3-Minute Sentence

Yousuf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt, but remains in power

(Newser) - The Supreme Court convicted Pakistan's prime minister of contempt today but spared him a prison term for refusing to reopen a corruption case against his boss, the president, leaving the premier in power but facing fresh calls to resign. The ruling stated Yousuf Raza Gilani would serve a sentence... More »

In Sign of Thaw, Pakistan PM Visits India

First such meeting in 7 years, as trade, security discussed

(Newser) - Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari traveled to New Delhi earlier today to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a significant sign of warming between the two nations with years of bitter acrimony between them, reports al-Jazeera . It is the highest-level meeting between the two countries in seven years. Details... More »

Pakistan PM Will Be Charged With Contempt

Yousaf Raza Gilani's trial will begin Feb. 13

(Newser) - It's official: Pakistan's Supreme Court says it's following through on its threat to charge Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with contempt for failing to pursue corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and others, the New York Times reports. The trial will begin Feb. 13, and could... More »

Pakistan Cans Defense Minister

Chaos reigns in Islamabad as bridge between military, government is ousted

(Newser) - Pakistan's government fired the defense secretary today and the army warned of "grievous consequences" for the country, escalating a political and legal crisis that some believe could end in the dismissal of the government. Retired Lt. Gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi, an army loyalist seen as a bridge between... More »

Zardari Leaves Pakistan, Sparking Coup Rumors

Supposedly he's in Dubai due to a health condition

(Newser) - Is Pakistan in the midst of a coup? Speculation is running wild that it is, after President Asif Ali Zardari left the country yesterday, flying to Dubai for unclear health reasons—a government adviser says he had a "minor heart attack," but a Zardari spokesman says he's... More »

Obama Offers Pakistan Prez 'Condolences' After Strike

Stops short of issuing formal apology

(Newser) - In a phone conversation eight days after NATO airstrikes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, President Obama today offered "condolences" for the deaths to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, the White House says. Diplomats had encouraged the president to apologize in an effort to soothe strained US-Pakistan relations, but... More »

Clinton Visits Pakistan—and It Doesn't Go Very Well

NYT describes Clinton as awkward, unsmiling

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton met with senior leaders in Pakistan today, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the chief of the army, to discuss the country’s future in the fight against terror. The New York Times puts it succinctly: The visit “did not appear to go well.” In place... More »

Zardari: Pakistan ‘Did Its Part’ in bin Laden Sting

Hit was result of a decade of cooperation, he writes in op-ed

(Newser) - As suspicions mount against Pakistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, President Asif Ali Zardari insists his country did its part. "The events of Sunday were not a joint operation," he acknowledges in a Washington Post op-ed, but "a decade of cooperation and partnership... More »

Stop Wasting $110B a Year on These Turkeys

As Arabs spread democracy, we prop up Afghan, Pakistan regimes

(Newser) - Democracy is on the march across the Arab world, so "What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are almost identical to the governments we’re applauding the Arab people for overthrowing?" asks Thomas Friedman in the New ... More »

Pakistan Issues Warrant for Musharraf in Bhutto Slaying

'Accused' of not providing adequate security

(Newser) - Three years after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto sent Pakistan reeling, a judge has issued an arrest warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf, naming him as an "accused" in her death, reports the BBC. Musharraf stands accused of not providing adequate security for Bhutto; two senior cops told investigators... More »

Pakistan Assassination Gives Rise to Extremists

Salman Taseer fought to repeal blasphemy laws, was major PPP force

(Newser) - Yesterday’s assassination of Salman Taseer could deepen Pakistan’s political crisis, and seriously weaken the government’s ability to oppose Islamic extremists. Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was maybe the country’s most prominent opponent of religious parties and extremism, and a major ally of the embattled secular... More »

WikiLeaks: Behind Scenes, US Worried About Pakistan Nukes

'Sensational' media coverage kept US from removing uranium

(Newser) - The Guardian and the New York Times put the latest WikiLeaks focus on relations with Pakistan and worries—despite official statements to the contrary— that radicals could get their hands on its nuclear arsenal:
  • US ambassador Anne Patterson, May 2009: "Our major concern is not having an Islamic militant
... More »

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