As Pakistan’s power-brokers consider who will be their new leader, former president Pervez Musharraf appears to be taking things in his stride.

https://i2.wp.com/www.worldpoliticsreview.com/images/CommentaryNews/musharraf.jpgMr Musharraf’s aide Tariq Azim says the former president, who was forced out of office this week, has dismissed media reports he is about to leave Pakistan.

Instead he has been relaxing, playing tennis and spending time with his family, especially his mother.

Mr Azim says Mr Musharraf was in a jovial mood when the aide saw him on Tuesday and mentioned he would like to write a follow-up book to his 2006 memoir In The Line Of Fire.

Pakistan’s new president is expected to be named within 30 days but the ruling coalition leaders are yet to resolve an impasse over whether to reinstate judges sacked by Mr Musharraf.

The ruling coalition in Pakistan is led by the parties of slain former premier Benazir Butto and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The parties showed unity in filing the impeachment charges against Mr Musharraf which resulted in his resignation, but since then they have been unable to agree on a successor or whether to reinstate the judges he sacked.

Mr Sharif wants the judiciary restored immediately but talks have ended without agreement and will start again on Friday.

source : abc.net.au

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Refugees from the conflict take shelter in Tbilisi. Tensions look likely to escalate in Georgia and Russia, with Russian-backed separatists asking Moscow to recognise their independence.

There is still no sign that Russia is withdrawing the bulk of its force from Georgia, despite western demands for an immediate pull-out.

The self-styled leaders of Abkhazia in Georgia’s north-west have issued a fresh call asking Moscow to recognise their independence.

While Russia has backed the separatists in Abkhazia and in Georgia’s other breakaway province of South Ossetia, it has previously held back from formally recognising them as independent.

In the wake of the fighting that flared in South Ossetia two weeks ago, Russia has said Georgia can forget about ever regaining control of the region.

But Russia has also agreed to an international mechanism to sort out the future status of each province.

Georgia remains adamant they must not be allowed to break away, but it has few options.

United States President George W Bush has criticised the violence in the region and has offered more support for Georgia, saying the US will help ensure its territorial integrity.

Mr Bush has again criticised Russia for what he says was a disproportionate military action in Georgia.

He says the US will continue to support Georgia’s democracy.

“South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia and the United States will work with our allies to ensure Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity,” he said.

Civilian deaths

Both countries have now issued revised death tolls from the fighting in South Ossetia that sparked their conflict.

In the first few days of fighting, both sides claimed thousands of civilians had been killed.

Russia now says it has the names of 133 civilians and 64 soldiers who died in South Ossetia.

Georgia says 215 of its people lost their lives, including around 70 civilians. It also says 300 Georgian soldiers are still missing.

The toll on both sides may rise again because officials still do not know how many people have been buried in unmarked graves.

Media show

A White House spokesman says Russian forces are not withdrawing quickly enough from Georgia and should step up the pace.

The soldiers are still dug-in in central Georgia, cutting the country in two.

ABC correspondent Scott Bevan is on a Russian Government media tour which has crossed into Georgia, where the Russian military has made a show of pulling back a unit of troops from Georgia.

Just 55 kilometres from the capital Tblisi, about 50 members from the unit from the Russian 58th Army stood to attention by the road.

Then, when the order was given and the cameras were rolling, the men ran over to nine armoured personnel carriers and drove off.

Military spokesman Colonel Igor Tikachenko has defended the time taken to pull back the troops from Georgia, saying a lot of logistics are involved.

The Colonel says the 58th unit should be back on Russian soil in a day or so.

Source : abc.net.au

US Congress.

United States (U.S.) Senator Joe Lieberman is scheduled to speak at the Republican party convention, according to a member of the McCain campaign who wishes to remain anonymous. Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in the 2000 presidential election, has been one of Republican party candidate, John McCain‘s, staunchest supporters.

The official who informed the press of this announcement stated that Lieberman is slated to speak on the second day, a Monday, of the convention. There has been a lot of speculation in the past months that Lieberman would speak at the convention. In a interview with David Brody of CBN, Lieberman stated in response to the question about the possibility of him being at the convention that, “well, it’s not clear yet but you might just see me there.”

Lieberman is currently in Georgia, with Senator Lindsey Graham, responded when asked if he would be speaking at the convention that “it’s quite possible, but I’ll let them announce it.” Lieberman’s office has not commented on this announcement.

Lieberman has been recently considered a possible candidate for the Republican vice presidential seat. The convention will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota from September 1 through the 4th. He is currently a Independent Senator in Connecticut, who caucuses with the Democratic party. Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential candidate back in 2000, when he ran with Al Gore.

Source : wikinews

Marxists.org.

Hua Guofeng, the successor of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, died this afternoon in Beijing at age 87 from an undisclosed disease.

Born Su Zhu in China’s Shanxi province in 1921, Guofeng became a Communist Party member at age 15. Soon after, he became known to Mao Zedong in 1954, and as a result rose quickly through the party ranks.

After he succeeded Zhou Enlai as China’s Premier, Guofeng was chosen by the dying Mao to be his successor. After becoming Premier and Chinese Communist Party Chairman, he ended the Cultural Revolution and had the Gang of Four (including Mao’s last wife, Jiang Qing) arrested.

A vain leader, Hua had the National People’s Congress, the CPC Party Congress, and all schools hang portraits of Mao side-by-side with himself in prominent positions. Hua also attempted to change the Chinese national anthem’s lyrics to incorporate Mao Zedong, however these revisions were rejected.

He was effectively ousted in 1978 as a result of Deng Xiaoping‘s increasingly strong grip on the Communist Party. Guofeng was replaced as Premier in 1980 ending four years of service.