Night Watch

Japan-China: Update. Japan rejected a Chinese accusation that a Japanese Self-Defense Force aircraft buzzed a Chinese aircraft over the East China Sea.

Pakistan: Musharraf gets a break. Today, the Sindh (Province) High Court ordered Mr. Musharraf's name to be removed from the government's Exit Control List (ECL), but suspended execution of the order for 15 days to allow the government to appeal it.

Musharraf's attorney said, "The court has allowed our appeal and ordered to strike down Musharraf´s name from the Exit Control List. The order will be executed after 15 days."

Comment: The government placed Musharraf on the ECL to ensure his appearance at his treason trial.

The order means that the Court agreed with the arguments of the appellant, Musharraf. Those were that Musharraf's heart condition required specialist treatment that could only be obtained abroad and that he needed to tend to his ailing mother who is in Dubai. Musharraf has promised to return to Pakistan for trial because he wants to clear his name.

The Court's ruling provides an opportunity for the government to reduce the threat of an Army takeover of the government by declining to appeal the ruling and, thus, allowing Musharraf to go into exile. For months the Chief of Army Staff has made public comments that convey the Army leadership's strong opposition to the trial of a former Chief of Army Staff for treason.

Musharraf's presence in Pakistan has polarized political interests and caused strain in the Army's relationship with the government. He has been a distraction from the many pressing internal security challenges. The Sindh court has created a chance for reconciliation. If the government challenges the order, internal security will worsen and the threat of another military coup d'état will increase.

Afghanistan: For the record. The Presidential run-off election between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani will be held on 14 June. Abdullah is the front runner.

Iraq: ISIS declares a caliphate. Reports from Mosul stated that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced that it had formed an Islamic State. A leaflet said, "We took on our shoulders bringing back the glories of the Islamic caliphate and stop oppression against our brothers and to cut the Shiite snake that reached the necks of the people."

Night Watch

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