» 02/22/2008, 00.00
Archbishop of Lahore: “the ballot box has decided, now let us work for democracy”
President of the Bishop’s Conference, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, underlines that the election results have clearly shown the will of people for a civilian and constitutional management of power. A deal is reached between the Popels Party and Muslim League.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – In the elections, the people of Pakistana have “given a clear mandate in favour of a complete civilian and Constitutional rule, independence of judiciary, free media, more provincial autonomy, and a peaceful co-existence of religions and cultures”. This was underlined by the president of the bishop’s conference and Archbishop of Lahore, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, in a statement commenting the results of the recent parliamentary elections.
The ballot box returned a landslide victory for the People’s Party and the Muslim League N: moreover the results highlight the crushing defeat of extremists fringes in tribal areas, where the Taliban dictate law. In the text, co-signed by the secretary for the Justice and Peace Commission, Peter Jacob, the prelate adds: “the political parties and the civil society need to ensure that the people’s verdict is respected and the transition to democracy in the country takes place smoothly”.
In light of this the Church “reiterates its stance that with other civil society actors, they shall continue to work for democracy in the country to build a culture of justice, peace and human rights”.
In the interim, talks continue between the country’s political forces for the creation of the next government, which will be the result of a coalition. Asif Zardari, widowed husband of Benazir Bhutto and co-president of the People’s Party yesterday evening announced that a deal had been reached with former premier and leader of the Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif: “There is still a long way to go, but ours will be a joint government”. Among issues on the agenda in the primary talks, a an impeachment request against President Musharraf (with charges laid against him for the coup carried out in November), and the restoration of the Supreme Court, decimated by the purge also carried out in November.
Sharif withdraws party from coalition government in Islamabad
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Terrorism on the offensive as the debate over a new president heats up
At least 50 people are killed and dozens are hurt in a double suicide bomb attack against the country’s main defence industry complex. At the same time the country is starting to vet the candidacy of Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, to the presidency. Political parties are however split over the issue.
Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's new president
The president-elect, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, crushed the competition. His most urgent challenges include the fight against terrorism and the economic crisis. Voting marked by an attack in Peshawar that killed 16 people.
Muslim League withdraws its ministers, plunging Pakistan government into crisis
Out of 24 ministers nine are quitting over the failure to reinstate judges sacked by Musharraf. There is particular concern over the finance minister who was supposed to present the annual budget in a few weeks time.
A new government within a month, prime minister from the Peoples Party
Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, leaders of the majority parties, reached an agreement with the government yesterday: it will be made official within one month. The selection of the prime minister seems to have gone to Makhdoom Amin Fahim, an authoritative leader of the Peoples Party during the exile of Benazir Bhutto.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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