Zardari rules out tie up with pro-Musharraf party
With government formation still in the works, Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has ruled out any truck with the pro-Musharraf PML(Q) and but appeared unenthusiastic about impeaching the President, an issue strongly pursued by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
"I think the mandate is for democracy and against fundamental forces and the previous government," Zardari said in an interview to India Today magazine.
Asked if the mandate was not against Musharraf, he replied: "Isn't he part of it (the previous government)?" Replying to a question on the demand for impeachment of Musharraf, he said the new parliament, which will be "supreme", will decide whether President Pervez Musharraf should step down. He was confident that he would be able to reach a common ground with Sharif on the issue.
With the PPP having emerged as the largest party in Monday's general election, Zardari has vowed to strengthen parliament by forming a national consensus government. He has also stopped short of endorsing PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif's call for Musharraf to quit following the defeat of the ruling PML-Q in the polls.
On Musharraf's impeachment, he said "Let parliament decide. We are getting carried away by slogans rather than going to the crux of the job. The beef is in strengthening democracy."
To a query on whether he would ask Musharraf to step down, Zardari said, "Why don't we let parliament decide and see if it can do it. If it can't, then let everyone cut his cloth according to his size."
Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalized on Friday with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent and a son said on Sunday. One of Rushdie's sons said his father remained in critical condition but was able to say a few words after getting off the ventilator.
The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.
The EU on Sunday said it was "particularly concerned" about worsening conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan after the country's ruling Taliban violently broke up a women's rally. Taliban fighters on Saturday fired in the air and beat up protesters taking part in a women's "bread, work and freedom" march in Kabul. It also stressed that "Afghanistan must also not pose a security threat to any country" per UN Security Council resolutions.
A fire that broke out Sunday in a Coptic Christian church in Egypt's capital Cairo killed 41 people, church officials said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared on his Facebook page that "I have mobilised all state services to ensure that all measures are taken". Copts are the largest Christian community in the Middle East, making up at least 10 million of Egypt's 103 million people. Egypt has suffered several deadly fires in recent years.
An explosion at a retail market in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Sunday sparked a fire, killing one person and injuring 20, the emergency situations ministry said. Photos and videos posted on social media showed a thick column of black smoke over the market and successive detonations could be heard. The ministry said there were 10 firefighting trucks on the spot and another 10 were on their way.