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Statement by Peoples Resistance on Restoration of Judiciary

pr-logo-option-02-1.jpgKARACHI (May 5th): We, the citizens of Pakistan, welcome PPP’s and PML-N’s new promise to restore deposed judges by 12th May 2008. We hope that, this time round, the promise shall be kept.

At the same time, we condemn the proposal to retain the ‘judges’ appointed by General (R) Pervez Musharraf after 3 November 2007. These ‘judges’ happily accepted judicial appointments in place of those courageous souls who refused to bow down before a dictator and take oath under the PCO. These freshly appointed ‘judges’ were willing accomplices in Musharraf’s scheme to subvert the Constitution and destroy judicial independence and went out of their way to endorse his actions. By doing so, they betrayed the legal and judicial fraternity and the nation as a whole.

If political parties protect the appointments of such ‘judges’, they will be sending out a loud and clear message to future judges: if you dare to resist a dictator, you shall be unceremoniously removed and face months of illegal detention. On the other hand, if you endorse the dictator’s actions by taking oath under his PCO, not only will you enjoy judicial office during the dictator’s reign but any incoming democratic dispensation will go out of its way to protect you.
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Rehman Malik orchestrates the bye-elections Flip Flop

The news has slowly come out that Rehman Malik was at the center of this decision to delay the bye-elections. Mr Malik a very close aide of Zardari (and previously Benazir Bhutto) had told the NWFP Chief Minster that the three other provinces and the federal center had agreed to delaying the elections.

This in way exposes to every one that Rehman Malik was the culprit behind all this and not Musharraf or Nawaz Sharif

The News: Delay in by-polls suggested after Rehman’s call: Hoti

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister NWFP, Amir Haider Hoti Monday said he proposed postponement of by-polls after receiving a word from Advisor to Prime Minister, Rehman Malik. According to Geo News an official hand out proposed a short delay in by elections. Rehman Malik said in the above hand out that the three provinces have agreed to put off the by-polls and NWFP should also follow suite. The Chief Minister NWFP said Rehman Malik talked to him on telephone. He said the federal government and not the provincial ones made the postponement in by-polls


Toothless Election Commission delays bye-elections

Election Commission of PakistanIn a very surprising development the Election Commission of Pakistan has today announced that the by-elections for the vacant seats in the National and Provincial assemblies which was scheduled to be held in June have now been delayed for two months. Immediately at the outset President Musharraf denied any involvement in this development but the finger pointing quickly started when a spokesman for the PML-N came on board accusing Musharraf of trying to sabotage plans for Shahbaz Sharif attempt to contest in the Punjab provincial assembly.

The spineless Election commission’s secretary Kunwar Dilshad denied the president had any say in the timing of the vote. But one may speculate that the unique timing of the announcement can immediately cast doubts of the ulterior motives be it Musharraf trying to black=ball / black-mail the wanna-be candidates (Shahbaz and Zardari) especially after the agreement they cobbled together in Dubai, alternatively it could also be a part of the great master plan hatched in Dubai, the people of Pakistan await the next part of this suspense series called the Sweet Talking Return to Democracy in Pakistan which has been airing at our fabulous Pakistani theaters since October 18th

It is also amusing to note that practically every Pakistani has a theory on every political development (I too am guilty of this crime) so what is your analysis on who may have the Ace for this new twist, who might we accuse and who will indeed come out smiling from all this – any guesses?


Restitution of judges: A case for constitutional survival

Huzaima Bukhari & Dr. Ikramul Haq
Huzaima & Ikram

After lapse of mutually-agreed and self-imposed condition of 30 days on April 30, 2008 for the restitution of judges announced in Bhurban on March 9, 2008, a new deadline of May 12, 2008 has been announced by Mian Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on May 2, 2008. This delay once again proved the lack of political commitment on the part of majority party. Their leadership may have many pretexts, valid or invalid, for not following the deadline or deviating from the original declaration promising the restoration of status quo ante of November 2, 2007 without any conditionality.

The long-drawn parleys between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari for implementation of Murree Declaration of March 9, 2008 on restitution of judges has serious implication for determining whether 8-year-long dictatorial rule in Pakistan will end or not. The issue of restitution of judges (reinstatement is wrong notion as they are still judges) is in fact a question of great important vis-à-vis constitutional rule in Pakistan. In parleys between leaders of coalition partners in Karachi, Dubai and elsewhere, the issue reportedly was to devise a “correct legal methodology” to counter the strategy of Musharraf camp to block the move through a stay order from apex court. One wonder why the political forces are not uprooting the root-cause by impeaching the unconstitutionally-imposed President, rather than waiting for his purported further illegal actions.
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Proposed Resolution for the Restoration of Judges by the National Assembly

The text of the draft prepared for Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari by Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim for the restoration of the pre-Nov 3rd Judges

(DRAFT RESOLUTION)

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PAKISTAN

WHEREAS, We the elected representatives of the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan acknowledge and honor the long and arduous struggle for the return to democracy and rule of law by the legal fraternity, civil society and the ordinary citizens of our beloved country.

AND WHEREAS, We pay tribute to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and thousands of brave political activists across the country who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives or suffered imprisonment for the cause of restoration of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. We shall not let their sacrifices go in vain.

AND WHEREAS, this Assembly is mindful that the foundation of democracy cannot survive without a return to the rule of law. We are mindful, that the rule of law cannot survive the rule of the gun unless we have an independent judiciary. And, we are cognizant that we shall never have an independent judiciary if the Judges of the Superior Court’s of this country are imprisoned at the whims of a lone individual.
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PPP proposing “Minus-One-Formula”

Iftikhar Chaudhry releasedThe top PPP leadership has recently approached the legal community proposing a “Minus-One-Formula” which opens the door for a full restoration of the judiciary without the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. It is in some way living up to the Murree Declaration albeit with a few political compromises but basically a face saving package for the PML-N and its full uncompromising commitment to the restoration of Pre-Nov 3rd judges. PPP being in the driving seat will undoubtedly bull doze its own agenda while the Sharif brothers will be left biting the dust and quite literally taken for a ride (willingly or unwillingly? – time will only tell). PML in turn may accept these compromise, claiming to fulfilled part of the promise as it was a minority partner in the PPP-led parliament

It has been a fact that the present PCO-adorned CJP Justice Dogar is a PPP leaning judge and surely Asif Zardari would definitely not sacrifice this top slot to accept Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry a PML-N leaning judge, paramount to shooting himself in the foot.

It seems that for now the leading lawyer activists are claiming that none of the judges will take office without the full and uncompromisable restoration of the entire pre-Nov 3rd Judiciary, but internally there are significant rifts within the legal cadre and the instant a partial restoration (minus-one-formula) is announced most of the ‘sidelined judges’ will snap into attention abandoning the rank and file and take oath for office, with or without Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry.
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Zardari and Sharif vow to restore Judiciary within 30 days of formation of Parliament

In a joint statement of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari they have come together to form a coalition govt and have promised to reinstate all deposed judges within 30 days of Parliament. Aitzaz Ahsan welcomes this new development and states that countdown will begin.

In all honesty this could be the ‘face-saving’ excuse that Nawaz Sharif needs to enter into the coalition to form the government, as in the past few days it had slowly appeared that Zardari was least interested in any discussion leading to the restoration of judiciary, it simply did not benefit him and his party to even talk about the judiciary. This new joint statement allows Nawaz Sharif some breathing room for another month but the focus will then be squarely on the ‘duo’ to fulfill this promise to the people of Pakistan. I personally celebrate this news but raise a concern that it could only be delaying tactics an attempt to diffuse the issue the restoration of judiciary into irrelevance.

As reported in Dawn
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Nawaz Sharif enters Judicial Colony in Islamabad

It is being reported by.the SAC team in Lahore that Nawaz Sharif has come to he judicial colony in Islamabad along with his brother and has just now entered inside the enclave there are hundreds of supporers along with him and the civil society


RUMOR MILL: Zardari and Musharraf (rep) inside US Embassy

It is being reported (1500 PST Geo News) that a high level meeting is underway inside the US Embassy with Asif Ali Zardari and representatives of Pervaiz Musharraf. The meeting is supposed to be with the US Ambassador and his staff trying to negotiate a peace / alliance between PML-Q and PPP. The report has just been confirmed that the meeting did take place and is now over

In other reports it is also rumored that America is very much irritated with the attitude of PML-N and will NOT prefer a leadership with PML-N and hence is working to put them in the opposition.

Despite all the overwhelming support with which the Pakistani nation has over thrown Musharraf and his attempts to Americanize Pakistan out the window. its sad to see these new leaders wheeling and dealing with America, which should have at best been shown the door back to Washington. Pakistan needs a chance to taste democracy not be treated to another government propped up on the basis of the likes and dislikes of Washington its barely been two days since the elections and Washington is already playing its dirty role in the politics of other nations

[Rumor Mill is generally what is being heard through the grapevine in Pakistan, it can all be negated but is very important to read the tea leaves as Pakistan definitely has a strong rumor mill in critical situations like these and most often they have been proven correct]

Update Link: Asia Times Online – Pakistan sifts through election aftermath


Nawaz Sharif blows his TOUPEE when asked ‘Tough Questions’

The Pulse with Jasmine on Business Plus PakistanYesterday Business Plus host Jasmeen Manzoor – The Pulse was invited for a one on one interview with Nawaz Sharif, at his home in Raiwind, Lahore. For starters the interview appeared to be going fine until Jasmeen touched on a few sensitive issues with Nawaz Sharif, more specifically his controversial 10 year deal with Musharraf and his relationship with the Saudi government, it is then he is said to have suddenly gotten angry to the extent that the plunged at the camera to confiscate the video, threatening Jasmeen and the Business Plus TV crew to not talk about it

This scribe got wind of this breaking news late this Friday afternoon around 3 pm when an email was circulated on the People’s Resistance network asking us to watch the program which might be aired at 3 pm on ARY ONE WORLD, but much to our dismay nothing came on and quite naturally we assumed that either ARY may have buckled under the pressure or PCO-Bound-PEMRA was hounding over them. Only to see a news ticker at 6:30pm on Business Plus stating they protested against Nawaz Sharif’s ‘confiscation’ of the tape. Hence the confiscation of the tape may explain why it never made it on ARY or YouTube for that matter.

Later at 7 pm ARY & Business Plus then televised a press conference in which Jasmeen Manzoor and Rana Mubashir spoke about Nawaz Sharif’s behavior and how he had lost his temper when asked routine questions about the deals, etc. questions that have often been asked to other politicians in the past.
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