Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Benazir Bhutto's welcoming party.

Our party workers are being intimidated that they should not go to the airport to receive me. These threats are being made by Afghan militants, Arab militants, and Red Mosque militants,' she told media in Dubai, from where she is scheduled to leave for Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on Thursday morning. Bhutto said her party workers were not intimidated by the threats and around a million of them would receive her at the airport. 'From the rouged mountains of Karakoram range in the northern areas of the country to the shore of the Arabian Ocean in the port city of Karachi, a sea of people will gather still with hope. They dream of democracy, of employment, of education, of energy, and most important of empowerment,' she said.
Security for the event is high.
Authorities in Karachi, a city of around 15 million people, were taking stringent security measures to ensure her safety. Police sealed several roads around the city airport and deployed a bomb disposal squad. A shipping container fortified with bullet-proof glass was prepared to carry Bhutto in a rally she would lead after her arrival in the city. More than 3,000 police and paramilitary troops will guard the route of her procession. Bhutto's party had also shipped in bullet-proof vehicles and electronic jamming equipment to help avert possible attacks.

More at the link.

And at this link. Two - three radical Muslim suicide groups active in Karachi with threats being made by Baitullah Mahsud. Seven bomb disposal units will be deployed. She will be guarded by 20, 000 policemen. Marksmen will be on buildings throughout the 18 hour procession which the government has requested she shorten.

The gov't has issued a Code of Conduct for Benazir's return. So I guess that's something.

Wondering about US aid to Pakistan?
From 2001 to 2007, the United States extended $10.09 billion in assistance to Pakistan, the highest single year figure being $1.77 billion, which was remitted in 2007. The projected figure for 2008 is $840 million only. According to figures tabulated by the Congressional Research Service, the breakdown is as under: Total economic support funds ($1.89 billion), other development aid ($453 million), foreign military financing ($1.27 billion), other security-related aid ($377 million), coalition support funds ($5.93 billion), total non-food aid plus coalition support funds ($9.9 billion) and food aid ($177 million). khalid hasan
(khalid sounds kinda miffed about that drop in US dollars...)