BuzzFlash.com's World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
WORLD MEDIA WATCH FOR NOVEMBER 26, 2001
The Pakistani President refuses to leave, the Palestinians issue a new statement, and Israeli papers reveal two very different responses.
1//The Dawn, Pakistan-Editorial/STAYING ON ("This is an unfortunate course of action to follow, given the history of Pakistan where rulers have regularly tailored or mangled constitutions to suit their personal interests.")
2//The Hindustan Times, India--INDIA SHOULD PUSH US FOR DEMOCRACY IN PAK ("Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto urged India Sunday to use its influence with the United States to pressure Islamabad's military regime to restore democracy.")
3//Palestine News Agency (WAFA)--ISRAEL IS NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE AND IS CALLING FOR WAR ("Therefore we are appealing to our people to spot deep down the Israeli intentions and divert the hatred and pain into power that helps us stand firm…")
4//Ha'aretz-Editorial/THE INNOCENT VICTIMS (The expression of regret voiced by Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer over the killing of the innocent children can not be a substitute for a vital change in the IDF's concept of what fighting tactics are acceptable in the territories.")
5//The Jerusalem Post-Editorial/THANKSGIVING, THEN AND NOW ("But, as the United States has amply demonstrated, the only way to confront terror is to fight it…. Israel, too, should show a similar level of resolve in putting an end to the nightmare of Palestinian terror.")
Dawn 25 November 2001 Sunday 09 Ramazan 1422
History seems to be repeating itself once again following the announcement that President Pervez Musharraf intends to carry on as president after October 2002, when the Supreme Court has decreed that elections to the national and provincial assemblies must be held.
While the announcement does not come as a surprise, it raises a number of important questions. The most contentious issue is the manner in which the general intends to extend his term as president. Rather than seeking some kind of legitimacy by getting himself elected via a referendum or through a future assembly, President Musharraf seems set to use powers vested in him by the Provisional Constitutional Order to extend his tenure by three to four years.
This is an unfortunate course of action to follow, given the history of Pakistan where rulers have regularly tailored or mangled constitutions to suit their personal interests. One can also question the wisdom of General Musharraf holding on to the post of president after 2002. Surely Musharraf can continue to keep a watchful eye on any future government from the powerful vantage point of chief of army staff.
Having made the decision to remain in office, Musharraf must now work single-mindedly to ensure that free and fair elections are held on schedule. He must feel confident enough to trust the representatives of the people to carry on with the complex task of governing Pakistan.
There is enough merit in some of the government's policies to ensure continuity. The president must realize that incessant meddling by the military, as much as the corruption and incompetence of successive civilian administrations, have combined to lead the country from crisis to crisis. It is time now to break this vicious cycle of military interventions and withdrawals.
Given the crisis at our doorstep, and the dangers and opportunities it has created for the country, there is urgent need to have a government that enjoys the support of the people. The broad consensus among the major political forces in the country on a range of important issues is the best protection against the rise of a violent but small minority of extremist forces.
SHOULD PUSH US FOR DEMOCRACY IN PAK
Bhutto, on a private visit to India, told Home Minister LK Advani that she expected New Delhi to pressure the US and other world powers to push for a return of democracy in Pakistan, an official said.
Bhutto, twice elected to lead the country and twice dismissed for alleged corruption, has been living abroad since early 1999. She is on a two-day trip to India.
Bhutto also told Advani that "chances of improving ... relations between India and Pakistan are very bright with the elected government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in power in New Delhi," the Press Trust of India (PTI) added. "But (Pakistan President Pervez) Musharraf has missed this opportunity to buy peace with India," PTI quoted Bhutto as saying during her talks with Advani, the number two in the Indian government.
Earlier Sunday, Bhutto welcomed an expected meeting between Vajpayee and Musharraf on the sidelines of a summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) early next year in Nepal. The two have not met since a landmark summit in the Taj Mahal city of Agra in July which ended in failure over the disputed region of Kashmir.
"It is always good when people meet. I am a firm believer in communication," Bhutto told reporters at the start of her trip to New Delhi. Vajpayee and Musharraf will both attend the January 4-6 SAARC summit in Kathmandu.
Bhutto however warned that a point of concern was that any agreement inked by Musharraf may not carry weight in Pakistan as he was not an elected leader.
"My only concern is that General Musharraf is an unelected leader in Islamabad and it is important for the relationship between India and Pakistan that they be conducted at a level where people of Pakistan are carried along," Bhutto said.
IS NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE AND IS CALLING FOR WAR
The latest Israeli military escalation is a clear evidence of the Israeli conspiracy and its intention to proceed with deteriorating the situation, according to the Israeli declared plan.
During the past two days the Israeli occupying forces have killed 13 Palestinian citizens, half of them are under the age of 17, including women and activists, in all the Palestinian lands, that was exactly after three weeks of implemented ceasefire that we have declared upon, and right after the USA initiated efforts to help solving the pending issues as was declared in the speeches of President Bush and of his Secretary of State, which included ending the occupation, stopping the settlements activities and establishing the Palestinian State.
The Israeli Government aims to sabotage the USA and International efforts by committing state terror, killing, assassination, and racial destruction, in order to prevent the implementation of the Tenet Understandings and the Mitchell Report Recommendations, thus serious negotiations will not start, which means that achieving a settlement will be far from being materialized.
Therefore we are appealing to our people to spot deep down the Israeli intentions and divert the hatred and pain into power that helps us stand firm, failing the Israeli policy in order to protect our children, citizens, and sacred sites.
Editorial-THE INNOCENT VICTIMS
Five Palestinian children on their way to school were killed on Thursday when an IDF booby trap exploded under them. They were members of the al-Astal family - Muhammad Naim, Akram Naim, Anis Idris, Omar Idris, and Muhammad Sultan - two sets of brothers and a cousin, residents of the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The explosive apparently was a bomb placed on what the army suspected to be a path routinely used by Palestinian activists - not, as was first reported, an unspent tank shell accidentally left behind.
The expression of regret voiced by Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer over the killing of the innocent children can not be a substitute for a vital change in the IDF's concept of what fighting tactics are acceptable in the territories. These methods have already caused a high number of deaths among innocent children and civilians during the year of intifada. The latest incident in Khan Yunis did not arise from a mistake or from negligence, but is derived from an outlook that says harming innocents during attacks on enemies is simply unavoidable. Only a broad and diligent investigation of the tragic circumstances here - without any more whitewashing or dodging of facts - plus the trial of those responsible, might bring about a change in this outlook. It will at least suggest that in addition to the defense minister's expressions of regret, something concrete is actually been done about it.
The hideous death of the young children in Khan Yunis and the killing of Mahmud Abu Hanoud, a leader of the Hamas military wing and his two associates, have come close to the arrival in the region of the American administration's special envoy. It is of course possible - as is customary - to see the visit of the Secretary of State's special envoy, General Anthony Zinni, as yet another doomed attempt to bring a cease-fire and calm to the region. Such an outlook will undoubtedly guarantee a prolongation of the terrorist attacks, the killings, and the deaths of more children and innocent civilians on both sides.
It is also possible to restart the haggling over the question of blame, and over which side failed to stick to the conditions of the agreement, and attempt to maneuver the new envoy into shrugging away while continuing to score petty points against the other side. But it would be better to choose another way - one that will convert Zinni's mission into a turning point from which the diplomatic process can surge forward along the path carved out by the Mitchell Report.
Jerusalem Post 10 Kislev 5762 02:05Sunday November 25, 2001
Editorial-THANKSGIVING, THEN AND NOW
…For not only has a vicious and brutal regime been removed from power, but international terrorism has now been deprived of an important staging ground and refuge. In that sense, then, Americans truly do have reason to give thanks, not only because their armed forces suffered minimal casualties, but also because their enemies are on the run, having been put on notice that their inhuman atrocities will no longer be tolerated.
14 months of Palestinian violence, Israel would do well to learn from
the American example. For too long now, Israel has effectively tolerated
the ongoing Palestinian assault on its citizens. But, as the United States
has amply demonstrated, the only way to confront terror
Copyright 2001, Gloria R. Lalumia
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otherwise noted, all original