Pervez rules out return of exiled leaders
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said he would not allow former premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif _ his two main political rivals to return to Pakistan to take part in upcoming elections.
The announcement in remarks broadcast on Friday seems likely to deepen Pakistan's political crisis, in which the military leader faces accusations of authoritarianism as well as a growing challenge from Islamic extremists.Musharraf was asked during an interview with the private television channel about the aspiration of Bhutto and Sharif to return to lead their parties in parliamentary elections due at the end of the year.
"No, they cannot return before elections," Musharraf said in an excerpt shown before the screening of the full interview on late Friday.
New Zealand police have begun a homicide investigation after human remains were allegedly found stashed in suitcases that were bought at an auction in the country's largest city Auckland. Read New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since Covid-19 pandemic began Residents at a home in South Auckland called police last Thursday after making the grisly discovery, police official Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Tuesday of whipping up tensions in Asia, describing a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "thoroughly planned provocation". In a speech to a Moscow security conference, Putin also cited the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States as evidence of Western attempts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.
China on Tuesday said the docking of a Chinese missile and spacecraft tracking ship in the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota for replenishment will not affect the security interests of any country and should not be “obstructed” by a third party, in an apparent reference to India. The docking of the ship comes a day after India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin then reiterated the point.
China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of the world's lowest birth rates, its National Health Authority said on Tuesday. China's fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021 was far below the 2.1 OECD standard for a stable population and among the lowest in the world. Technology such as IVF is typically very expensive in China and not accessible to unmarried women.
Against the backdrop of growing concerns in India over a Chinese surveillance vessel's visit to Hambantota port, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said China will not be allowed to use the facility for “military purposes”. Both India and the US had expressed concerns about the call by the vessel, used by the People's Liberation Army to track satellites and ballistic missiles.