The Pakistan Supreme Court yesterday maintained a ban on former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (pictured) from standing for election and removed his brother, Shahbaz, as Governor of Punjab Province. The decision comes a week before elections for the upper chamber of Parliament.
Demonstrations followed the decision, with Sharif supporters blaming President Asif Ali Zardari for the verdict. It is likely that they will join a Long March on 12 March, led by lawyers demanded the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, removed by Zardari's predecessor Pervez Musharraf.
(It would be impolite of me, since the media didn't mention it, to note the disparity in the handling of the Sharifs' case with that of Zardari. The current President was long in exile because of charges of corruption, but these were waived by the Pakistani courts last year so he could assume office.)
Somalia in Upheaval
Violence and turmoil is far from new in the African country, but the lack of an effective central government is even more apparent in recent days. Just after new President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed took up office in Mogadishu, the Islamist faction al-Shabab took control of a border town, overpowering pro-Government forces.
More than 65 people died in yesterday's fighting.
Canada Speaks on Guantanamo Bay: We're Tougher than the Brits
The Globe and Mail reports:
Ottawa won't seek the return of Omar Khadr, the only Canadian and last remaining westerner left in Guantanamo, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said yesterday after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton....
“As a matter of fact, I reiterated Canada's position on this,” said Mr. Cannon. “What I have said on numerous occasions is that this individual is allegedly a murderer and [stands] accused of terrorism.”