In the approach to the elections Durrani has announced that they are setting up a “non-political” caretaker government to oversee functions, and to ensure that the elections come off ok . Many assembly terms will be up at that point and without a quorum it’s necessary to appoint the interim or caretaker PM and ministers. Story at Daily Times.
The PPP members across the country are bursting with joy that Benazir Bhutto will return tomorrow, and they are flocking in the thousands to Karachi to greet her. Karachi is a power base for the PPP party. Story at Daily Times.
In the frontiers the violence has died down and the army has lifted the curfew after ten days in Mirali. They dispute that there is a ceasefire, and there was a short exchange of fire with the Taliban attacking ineffectively with rockets and the military responding with mortar fire. No casualties were reported either side after the exchange. Story at Daily Times.
There’s a lot more detail on the refugees returning to the area at the Pakistan Observer, and markets reopening as a grand tribal jirga will try to re-estabalish peace. Interim the spokesperson for the army states that there will be no leniency for “the miscreants” [editor: this is the term most often used to designate terrorists without naming groups in Pakistan] In Mian Mandi, Mohmand agency, five CD shops were blown up, most likely by TNSM followers of Fazlullah.
Meanwhile the rest of the country is peaceful in the wake of the Eid holiday.
It’s that time of year — when you mow your lawn once a week, and it’s still coated with leaves and the grass too long. In the rain the leaves turn into a sodden mass that smothers and rots the grass beneath, and with the damp the grass is growing like gang-busters. It looks like I have to step up the mowing regime if I don’t want spots and holes in the lawn.
The Hillary Clinton campaign revealed the money they were returning from Norman Hsu donors, a campaign bundler and “Hillraiser” under investigation by the FBI. Norman Hsu is also facing criminal charges in California.
This is just the tip of the iceberg however, without doubt there are more dirty bundlers to look into. From the LA Times:
WASHINGTON — The full extent of accused swindler Norman Hsu’s political network was revealed for the first time Monday in campaign finance reports filed by presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who refunded $804,850 in contributions from 249 Hsu associates.
The donors came from 22 states and Washington, D.C., but Californians accounted for the largest amount refunded from the Hsu network, $308,000. New Yorkers contributed $286,000, and $55,000 came from donors in New Jersey and Connecticut. Investors in both California and the New York area were major participants in Hsu’s financial operations.
Senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is less popular with his constituents than President Bush is according to a Las Vegas Review poll. This stands to reason since he is declaring the war lost while we are on the path to winning it, he stands firmly against nuclear power when we need it desperately, and he’s just a generally sour person. This doesn’t fit well with a state whose major revenue source is tourism.
In Pakistan the papers are not updated yet because it is Eid holiday, and I expect them to update later today. Right now the pre-Eid shopping frenzy is over and Pakistanis are celebrating with their families.