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Former Military Ruler Pervez Musharraf wanted ‘underhand’ deal in 2007, says Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

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PM Nawaz Sharrif
Nawaz has been disqualified by the apex court. After his disqualification he shouldn't engage in politics said Pak, wikimedia

Islamabad, March 22, 2017: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf offered him an ‘underhand’ deal to form a joint government but he turned it down. Addressing the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz parliamentary committee on Tuesday, Sharif said, “Musharraf wanted a secret deal with me in 2007, but I declined.”

Musharraf was the then Pakistan president and Sharif had just returned from exile. The Dawn on Wednesday quoted Sharif as saying that he didn’t believe in making clandestine deals with people who had ruined people’s aspirations.

He said his family did not want to leave Pakistan after the Musharraf-led military coup but was forced to go into exile by the military dictator. “We left the country in a miserable condition and were not allowed to return for a long time,” he said.

The prime minister noted that Musharraf, a former Pakistan army chief, was now facing a similar fate and had left the country in disgrace. “Now, Musharraf is willing to return to the country, but he cannot… it’s divine retribution for his actions,” Sharif said.

Sharif was toppled by Musharraf in a 1999 coup, after which Sharif and his family went to live in Saudi Arabia. However, Sharif’s assertions were disputed by former Musharraf aide and All Pakistan Muslim League member Ahmed Raza Kasuri, the Dawn reported. “I have been working with General Musharraf for a long time and I have never heard any such thing,” he said. (IANS)

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2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to be Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics

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Tokyo olympics
A man wearing protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, looks at his mobile phone next to The Olympic rings in front of the Japan Olympics Museum in Tokyo, Japan. VOA

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.

Although the International Olympic Committee had said it would spend up to a month debating the matter, the decision to postpone became inevitable after several countries said they would not send athletes if the Games were held this summer.

“The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later that summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community,” the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Tokyo olympics
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to the journalists in front of the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo. VOA

Both committees say they made their decision after consulting with the World Health Organization. Abe and the IOC had said that canceling the Games had always been out of the question.

“The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC said.

Abe told reporters in Tokyo that when the Games finally gets under way, it will prove that “humanity had beat the coronavirus.”

The Summer Games were to have opened July 24.

Team USA, which represents triathlon and duathlon Olympic contenders, tweeted its thanks to the Tokyo organizers for what it says is “all you have done for a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. We wish you all the best as you keep your communities safe and offer our cooperation and support as you prepare to host the world.”

Tokyo olympics
A man takes pictures of the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan. VOA

The Olympics have been canceled three times since the modern Games began in 1896. They were scrapped in 1916 during World War I and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

The Games have been boycotted, propagandized by Nazi Germany, and attacked by terrorists, but have never before been postponed.

Japanese organizers said Tuesday they are also postponing the Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start Thursday.

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The flame arrived in Japan from its traditional lighting in Greece on March 12. It was supposed to have traveled around Japan, to be used to light the flame at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.

The torch will remain in Fukushima until the Games are firmly rescheduled. (VOA)