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Pervez Musharraf likely to face fresh legal jeopardy

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Pakistan’s former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf could face “renewed legal jeopardy” after he revealed that November 2007 emergency was the result of a vast consultative exercise, imposed on the advice of then-prime minister Shaukat Aziz and approved by soon-to-be army chief General Ashfaq Kayani, among many other senior political and military functionaries at the time.”

Musharraf’s revelations to Federal Investigation Agency is “a rather extraordinary and thoroughly self-inflicted descent into ignominy”.

“Gen Musharraf, it seems, was so enfeebled that he could not possibly have acted on his own – at least as far as he himself can tell. The November 2007 emergency required principal offenders, aiders, abettors and collaborators so numerous that it is – again according to Gen Musharraf – simply wrong and unfair to target him alone,” daily said.

Calling it “an unbelievable tale”, the daily said that Gen Musharraf had handpicked Aziz and Gen Kayani for the slots of prime minister and army chief, respectively.

It went on to say that while “it has been apparent for a while that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s bid to have Gen Musharraf tried for treason has been delayed, and likely blocked, by the military establishment, the prime minister has not given any indication that he is willing to let Gen Musharraf simply walk free”.

“Now, with the FIA conducting its inquiry anew and the likelihood that it may complete its job soon, there is a possibility that Gen Musharraf could face renewed legal jeopardy.

“In a rather transparent calculation to help stave off that possibility, the legal team of Gen Musharraf appears determined to draw in as many individuals as possible to make a fresh trial unlikely.”

The editorial observed that the direct reference to Gen Kayani as a principal offender, an aider and abettor in the continuation of the emergency seems particularly designed to draw the military further into the equation.

“If the military establishment is skittish about seeing one former army chief tried on treason, it will be doubly concerned about two former chiefs facing treason charges – especially if the two are the immediate predecessors of Gen Raheel Sharif.

“Ignominious and desperate as Gen Musharraf’s chosen strategy may be, could it be a winning one?,” the daily wondered.

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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany approach 90,000

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Berlin, April 5 More than 89,300 COVID-19 cases and at least 1,250 deaths have been registered as of Saturday afternoon across Germany, according to evaluations of a local media outlet which took into account the latest figures from all federal states.

The confirmed cases increased by 5,600 from the previous day, and the deaths by 147, Xinhua reported.

Helge Braun, head of the Federal Chancellery, told the Saturday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine that the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in Germany has not yet been reached, and “the time with the highest infection numbers is still ahead of us.”

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Iran urges EU to defy US sanctions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday censured US for maintaining its sanctions against Iran despite the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Tehran, April 5 : Iran’s envoy to Belgium on Saturday asked the European Union to oppose US sanctions on Iran amid the surge of COVID-19 pandemic, state TV reported.

The “unilateral and illegal sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran under the guise of its maximum pressure campaign undermine the country’s ability to effectively battle the virus without any international support in the long run,” Gholam Hossein Dehqani said in a letter to Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Xinhua reported.

Dehqani urged the European Union to defy “the inhumane” US sanctions as they infringe on the ordinary citizens’ rights to meet their basic needs.

On Friday, Iran’s envoy to the UN office in Geneva Esmaeil Baqaei Hamaneh said that the US “cruel and illegal” sanctions against Iran have resulted in difficulties for ordinary Iranians’ access to medicine and medical equipment and services as the country is engaged in the combat with the novel coronavirus.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday censured US for maintaining its sanctions against Iran despite the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country.

Iran’s health ministry on Saturday announced 55,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and a total of 3,452 deaths.

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CoronaVirus: US COVID-19 deaths surpass 8,000

Globally, the death toll is more than 59,100, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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The total deaths of COVID-19 in the US topped 8,000 as of 2.30 p.m. on Saturday (local time), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus press briefing on Saturday, “This will be the toughest week” in the U.S. fight against the pandemic.

“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” he said.

The president’s comments came as the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to over 300,000, with the number of deaths at more than 8,000, according to NBC News’ tally.

Globally, the death toll is more than 59,100, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The CDC is recommending now that Americans wear cloth masks when out in public. And, New York, by far the hardest-hit state, is gearing up for the pandemic to peak there in an expected in four to 10 days. China is donating 1,000 ventilators to the state, and another 140 are coming from Oregon.

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