HT Image
HT Image

Pakistan hunts for a coalition government

Musharraf is adamant that he won’t quit the presidency as country waits for a new PM, reports Vinod Sharma. A turbulent journey | FAQs
By Vinod Sharma | Hindustan Times, Islamabad
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2008 02:54 AM IST

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has expressed his willingness to work with other parties, particularly the Nawaz League, and even the MQM, in forming a national government.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of party leaders on Wednesday, he made it evident that the “other parties” would not include the Q League, or the “king’s party” which lost heavily in the elections. Though the MQM was known for its proximity to President Pervez Musharraf, Zardari said he was willing to work with it.

Musharraf’s future as President would be decided by parliament whose sovereignty was the PPP’s main agenda. On his meeting with PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, the PPP boss said, “The agenda is always political and mutual. We will try and find a solution to the problems of Pakistan.”

Zardari was non-committal on the PPP’s prime ministerial candidate though the previously announced nominee, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, sat by his side. “There is no division in the party (on this issue). We will decide the matter in the central executive committee.”

Much will depend therefore on the Zardari-Sharif duo’s ability to work together in a complex scenario. “They shouldn’t let Musharraf’s presidency become a sticking point in the formation of a PPP-PML(N) coalition,” remarked well-known scholar Ashfaq Mirza.

Sharif’s electoral gains in Punjab came largely from his up front stand against the President and for the restoration of the dismissed judiciary, including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary.

In contrast, the PPP’s choice will be easier, refrain as it did, unlike the Nawaz League, from a cut and dried approach to issues threatening to delay, if not scuttle, government-formation at the Centre and in the provinces. Prospects of a modus vivendi haven’t faded because Sharif thus far has stonewalled questions about Musharraf’s impeachment.

Besides running the risk of turning the new regime into an international pariah, Sharif’s position on Lal Masjid could upset China, a time-tested friend of Pakistan, and potential allies such as the Awami National Party (ANP) whose leader Asfandyar Wali has made a commitment to fight terrorism a pre-requisite for joining the envisioned coalition.

“Winning elections isn’t an end in itself. It needs to be backed by statesmanship and a spirit of accommodation to set up a lasting government,” said Mustansar Javed, a popular Urdu columnist. In his view, the PPP-PML-N combine should avoid confronting the President at the very outset: “They must first consolidate their electoral gains by reaching out to smaller parties for a robust majority in the House,” he said.

Commentators here have painted scenarios that could emerge in the run up to government formation: A PPP-PML (N) accord that’s a precursor to agreements with smaller parties; the PPP teaming up with the MQM, the ANP and the PML-Q rump whose final tally could hover around 40 and the Nawaz League seeking to gobble up the Q faction as part of an anti-Musharraf rag-tag arrangement.

But the coming together of the PPP and the N-League alone can deliver a durable coalition carrying conviction with the people. All other scenarios would be a betrayal of popular trust, providing the mainline parties’ detractors an early excuse to take to the streets. In that event, the Presidency will call the shots on the strength of its powers to send the government packing.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, is currently home to just under 700 migrants, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). (Reuters file photo)
The migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, is currently home to just under 700 migrants, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). (Reuters file photo)

As Mexico's largest migrant camp empties, new tents spring up along border

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:52 PM IST
One week ago, US President Joe Biden's administration began permitting members of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program to enter the United States to pursue their court cases.
Close
The 574 federally recognized tribes shared in $8 billion from a massive coronavirus relief package approved last March.(AP)
The 574 federally recognized tribes shared in $8 billion from a massive coronavirus relief package approved last March.(AP)

Covid-19 crisis leaves tribes without US recognition at higher risk

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:26 PM IST
Unlike federally recognized tribes, the Chinook Nation doesn't have a political relationship with the United States, which would make it eligible for federal coronavirus relief funding for state, local and tribal governments.
Close
Developed and rich nations are opposing the proposal.(AP | Representational image)
Developed and rich nations are opposing the proposal.(AP | Representational image)

Global growth to be hit if IP norms not waived to deal with Covid-19: India

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:44 PM IST
In October 2020, India and South Africa submitted a proposal suggesting a waiver for all WTO (World Trade Organization) members on the implementation, application and enforcement of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement.
Close
NASA photo released on February 24, 2021, shows images from Perseverance rover of its new home in Jezero Crater.(via AFP)
NASA photo released on February 24, 2021, shows images from Perseverance rover of its new home in Jezero Crater.(via AFP)

Mars facts: What do we know about Red planet? How does it compare with Earth?

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:40 PM IST
  • Earlier this month, Nasa safely landed its Perseverance rover in the Jezero Crater, determined as an ancient lakebed that formed billions of years ago.
Close
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (REUTERS FILE)
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (REUTERS FILE)

FDA set to approve J&J’s single-dose Covid vaccine, the third for US

By Yashwant Raj I Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:32 PM IST
US Food and Drug Administration has told Johnson & Johnson it will “rapidly work toward finalisation and issuance of an emergency use authorisation.”
Close
Workers install barbed wire on fencing outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Minneapolis.(AP)
Workers install barbed wire on fencing outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Minneapolis.(AP)

Growing tension in Minneapolis as trial looms in George Floyd's death

AP, Minneapolis
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:05 PM IST
  • Mayor Jacob Frey and Gov. Tim Walz, both Democrats, were sharply criticized for failing to move faster to stop last summer's looting and destruction.
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)

Undocumented immigrants should be vaccinated without ICE fear: Biden

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:37 PM IST
"I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated and so they are protected from Covid without the ICE or anyone interfering," The Hill quoted Biden as saying during an interview with Univision.
Close
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain January 11, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT(via REUTERS)
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain January 11, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT(via REUTERS)

Sunak plots tax raid to plug UK deficit, risking Tory rage

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:27 PM IST
When he comes to deliver his budget on Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer faces a battle to persuade his colleagues of the need to turn down the flow of government spending, and to address the painful hole in the public finances, approaching 400 billion pounds ($558 billion).
Close
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)

Myanmar ambassador to UN fired after he urged to reverse military coup: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:24 PM IST
Kyaw Moe Tun had told the UN General Assembly he was speaking on behalf of the ousted civilian government of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Close
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)

Sri Lanka's end to forced cremations of Covid-19 dead on hold: official

PTI, Colombo
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:20 PM IST
"This will take some time as guidelines on many aspects need to be determined and issued," said the top health official Asela Gunawardena.
Close
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)

Bangladeshi writer, detained over anti-govt social media posts, dies in jail

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:17 PM IST
According to The New York Times (NYT), Ahmed's death inside prison is raising alarms about the country's crackdown on dissent.
Close
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)

Internet disruption reported in southeast Iran amid unrest

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:59 PM IST
Several rights groups reported in a joint statement that authorities shut down the mobile data network in the restive provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, calling the disruptions an apparent “tool to conceal” the government’s harsh crackdown on protests convulsing the area.
Close
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)

Plunging Covid-19 test demand may leave US with supply glut

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:58 PM IST
More than 180 government-supported sites are operating at only a third of their capacity. “It’s shocking how quickly we’ve gone from moving at 100 miles an hour to about 25,” said Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county’s testing operation.
Close
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)

New climate pledges 'far short' of meeting Paris Agreement goals: UN

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:53 PM IST
The UN Chief stated that now is the time the global coalition committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society.
Close
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)

Russian scientists say Sputnik V performs well against Covid mutations

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:31 PM IST
Last month President Vladimir Putin ordered a review by March 15 of Russian-produced vaccines for their effectiveness against new variants spreading in different parts of the world.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP