Tag Archive: United Arab Emirates


We often say that Pakistan’s problems can be solved through drastic measures and such decisions which are unpopular. It is a fact that no government elected by the people and brought to power by greedy coalition partners can take such unpopular decisions, be it Zardari, Sharif or anyone else. There is, however, some ray of hope. There is one leader who is known for taking unpopular decisions. In fact the only decisions that he takes without consultations subsequently turn out to be unpopular. But he is out of Pakistan and trying hard to be able to come back and remain untouched by those who want his head to be on the chopping board. The Express Tribune has reported that the Government of Pakistan is said to be under unprecedented pressure from the rulers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to pave the way for a safe, secure and honorable homecoming for former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

They are also said to have asked Islamabad to initiate steps to build a favourable political image of the former military dictator and ensure that upon his return home, he will not be harassed by court cases and the police.

According to an understanding reached between the UAE and Pakistan several months ago, it was decided that the Pakistani government would facilitate Musharraf’s return as soon as the two-year bar on his participation in politics ends, sources said. Official sources claimed that the pressure had already forced President Asif Ali Zardari to curtail his visits to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

This extraordinary interest of UAE rulers in Pakistan’s internal affairs, especially in Musharraf’s political future, was thrown into light once again due to UAE’s foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al Nahyan’s covert visit to Islamabad within three days of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) announcement that Musharraf has been included in the investigation of former premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. He spent a mere 30 minutes with President Zardari before heading back home but, immediately after his visit, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the media that the government did not intend to question Musharraf. Rehman, on November 27, categorically said that the government had not taken any decision to include Musharraf in the probe.

 

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Parcel bomb plot which was hatched in Saudi Arabia and executed in Yemen, is still shrouded in mystery, however, Britain has taken an advantage of it and as an aftermath of the recent mail bomb plot, has tightened screening of air cargo passing through the country and ordered re-screening of parcels originating from some cities in India, Pakistan, Iran and some other countries.

“Cargo originating from some cities in India, Qatar, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Maldives, Sudan and Libya will have to be re-screened after arriving in Britain before being loaded onto onward flights,” Britain’s Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told DNA News. Currently such flights do not need to be screened in the UK.

After a meeting with industry representatives here, Hammond said they also discussed a proposed system of grading countries sending air cargo to the UK, according to perceived risk. Countries that have screening measures matching those of the UK and the European Union could have easier access to the UK than those that do not, he indicated.

When investigators pulled some Chicago-bound packages off cargo planes in England and the United Arab Emirates last week, they found two bombs wired to cell phones and hidden in the toner cartridges of computer printers. They were sent from Yemen. Following the uncovering of the plot being blamed on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the UK banned all air cargo from Somalia and Yemen.