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Posts tagged with: America

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

Media Restrictions Undermine Election: Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch issues a statement on the restriction on the media, similarly Hamid Mir also shared his concerns just a day earlier in a letter to journalists of PFUJ.

Threats and censorship against the independent media, bias in state television, and a widespread ban on live broadcasting are limiting the public’s right to information as Pakistan goes to the polls, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent curbs on the media prohibit coverage of election rallies, live call-ins, live talk shows, live coverage of protests, or any live broadcasts that could show the government in a negative light, severely restricting the right to free expression ahead of Pakistan’s election on February 18, 2008.

On November 3, 2007, President Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution and declared emergency rule, curbing the media through two decrees that bar the publishing or broadcasting of “anything which defames or brings into ridicule the head of state, or members of the armed forces, or executive, legislative or judicial organ of the state.” The print and electronic media were also restrained from publishing any material likely to “jeopardize or be prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or any material that is likely to incite violence or hatred or create inter-faith disorder or be prejudicial to maintenance of law and order.” Television discussions of anything deemed “false or baseless” by the regulatory authorities were also banned. All those provisions remain in force, even though the state of emergency was lifted on December 15.
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The NAB Diaries – The Aftermath

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

I read about that in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats whod give themselves electric shocks for something to do. And the ones on the pigeons, trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first one got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group

never gave up. Theyd pecked themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?

The Handmaids tale

Margaret Atwood.

I wrote the NAB Diaries with few objectives in mind. Firstly, I have to seek justice. Not just for my own sake but for the sake of my daughters as well. And then after all it is my right. And secondly, apart from that, beyond the issue of a heartless administration…I also wanted our society to look at itself…

This may not endear me to some but it is now time. If the peoples resistance, the only hope for this country of ours is to achieve anything, then our society at large has to look at itself critically, it should check its bearing, adjust its compass otherwise administrations may change, judiciaries may come and go but the situation will not change…

I suffered from the hands of my enemies but this is how it is suppose to be is it not… at least they did it for a reason and I failed to defend myself against them… but it is the actions of my own, the people around me, and the actions of the spectators, the indifferent lot, which was truly amazing. In my case, I dont cry foul when hurt by the enemies, it is just a consequence, a part of the game but it was those who took this opportunity to bring me down further, who made me stand trial for everything except for the crime at hand, as this was the most opportune moment is what I consider as the debasement of our society…
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Transcript of Dr. Kaiser Bengali’s Lecture – Making sense of Pakistan and its Economy

Attached is the entire transcript of the lecture given by Dr. Kasier Bengali in Dec at the invitation of People’s Resistance & The Green Economics & Globalisation Initiative where he talked on Making sense of Pakistan and its Economy at Shirkat Gah Office, Karachi

Alternatively Download the [download#2]

Let me begin by thanking Shirkat Gah for arranging this opportunity and you all for being here to exchange views. I am happy to see so many young faces here. This represents a change. I sensed the first indication of change in October 2005 when the earthquake hit. Young educated people, many of whom had never washed a spoon in their own houses, lived in tents and helped the victims. I think that something happened to bring a generation alive and we are seeing it again. In the current movement today, we may agree with a lot of things, not agree with a lot of things, but the point is that you are concerned, and that has been missing for 20 years, and 20 years is a long time. It’s a whole generation of people; people especially those in their 30s today, who in their own student days and youth were completely unassociated with any social issues. So I find this a very refreshing change and I consider myself fortunate that I am being able to interact with you today.

Now to the subject of economics. I know most of you do not have any economics background, but I will try to be simple. My ability to speak economics in rather simple language developed because when I started my career I started working with trade unions and I had to explain economics to people who were at best matriculates or even less, and that’s where I developed this ability to talk economics in the lay person’s language. I guess there was some kind of a social consciousness. I had no need to work with trade unions; I could have done consulting for the World Bank, or joined the World Bank. In fact I had an offer from an international bank. But like you, I thought I have to work with people and it is working with people that gave me the ability to speak the language of the people.
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Zero Fervor for Elections

By Farooq Tariq spokesperson for the Labour Party Pakistan

Thirteen days to go and yet there is no election excitement. There are no street corner meetings or large-scale public rallies. The main leadership of those parties participating in the elections plan no national tours. It could be the most colorless election in the history of Pakistan.

The reasons are simple: General Musharraf wanted it that way. Before announcing the date for the general elections, he imposed martial law. He arrested over 10,000 political activists and lawyers, removed all the top judges, amended the constitution and got himself elected as “civilian president. He wanted five more years in power.

General Musharrafs allies made all the arrangement to “win the elections before announcing the date. They wanted a snap election where the opposition would have no time to mobilizing its base. It was to be a general election held without an independent judiciary, with a dependent Election Commission, and with repression still alive. This was the ideal circumstance for a “win.
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Pakistan’s Forgotten Man

By Aitzaz Ahsan for Newsweek February 11, 2008

In the past months, as the crisis in Pakistan has worsened, key figures in the Bush administration, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have spoken out about the need for free and fair elections and have condemned extremism. Yet they’ve continued through-out to support the man who poll after poll show to be the least popular public figure in Pakistan, less so even than Osama bin Laden: President Pervez Musharraf.

Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte went so far as to call Musharraf an “indispensable ally” just days after the general declared de facto martial law and suspended Pakistan’s Constitution.

All the while, U.S. officials have ignored a man who lives a mere stone’s throw from Musharraf. This man’s exclusion might seem understandable: barbed wire surrounds his home, the phone lines are cut and the gate is padlocked from the outside. Yet he is no dangerous criminal. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is the chief justice of Pakistan. He’s also one of the most popular figures in the country, according to recent polls, and its best hope for returning to a democratic path.
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Kurd & Tariq Mehmood released, but others will remain under House Arrest

It is being reported that Lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd in Peshawar and Justice Tariq Mehmood in Quetta have been released from their house arrest which has lasted for around three months imposed by the Pakistani Government. Caretaker Information Minister Nisar Memon said the moves were aimed at creating a good atmosphere during this month’s parliamentary elections. “We want to keep the peace and order before elections and maintain a conducive environment so that people could effectively use their right to vote,” Memon said. IHT

But he said that Chaudhry and other judges would not released from house arrest. “Their movements have been restricted for their own security otherwise they are free men,” he said. “They are issuing statements and write letters.” – truly brilliant Mr. Memon, free men to write letters [I think he suggests the letter that was written by the CJP and ‘smuggled out’ of the house by CJP’s daughter amongst her books] yes let me hear that again free men to write letters but not to move around – GEEZ who are we trying to fool here

We definitely celebrate the release of the two leading figurehead icons Ali Kurd and J. Tariq Mehmood but wonder why does Musharraf have to play these game of charades with us. It is definitely an attempt to reduce the pressure exerted by the American which has recently suggested to Musharraf to correct some grave technical issues before running into the self proclaimed free and fair elections.

It is also shocking that the super power of the world [United States of America], the upholder and enforcer of democracy through out the world, is ready to accept the rigged elections, its definitely a shocking statement to make, which was mentioned in more of a casual statement without much details to the press, one can only imagine what might actually be brewing up inside to force the US government to publicly accept a sham democracy on Feb 18. I can only speculate a horrendously rigged elections comparable to the 98% voter turnout in the referendum of 2002 where the election commission of Pakistan showed a 71.5% voter turnout with a 97% vote in favor of Musharraf. If this is the type of elections we hope to achieve then so help us God
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Musharraf’s letter to ABA – accusing CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry

Yesterday we published a letter from the Chief Justice of Pakistan who wrote to many global leaders defending the accusations made by the President of Pakistan General (RETD) Pervaiz Musharraf. I have today obtained a copy of the initial letter written by the President of Pakistan to the American Bar Association trying to defend his actions against the CJP since March 9th. It seems more like a rant in a futile attempt to salvage his tarnished image in front of the American lawyers.

I highly recommend reading both the letters as it then shows how weak of an argument Musharraf actually continues to have in regards to the suicidal steps he took back in March. Word for word, the charge sheet is based on the original Naeem Bukhari letter, but some how no one takes his name let alone give him credit for leading Musharraf down this path of destruction [ironic]. Sadly the evidence starts and ends on the letter, the remaining arguments are just an attempt by Musharraf to vindicate himself. All said its funny to watch him stumble across the 15 pages just trying to defend his actions – quite literally pleading innocence but failing miserably in the process
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Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry responds to the allegations

AN OPEN LETTER TO: (PDF Available for Download)

The President of the European Parliament, Brussels.
The President of France, Paris.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, London.
Ms. Condaleeza Rice, Secretary of State, United States of America
Professor Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum, Geneva.

All through their respective Ambassodors, High Commissioners and representatives.


I am the Chief Justice of Pakistan presently detained in my residence since November 3, 2007 pursuant to some verbal, and unspecified, order passed by General Musharraf.

I have found it necessary to write to you, and others, because during his recent visits to Brussels, Paris, Davos and London General Musharraf has slandered me, and my colleagues, with impunity in press conferences and other addresses and meetings. In addition he has widely distributed, among those whom he has met, a slanderous document (hereinafter the Document) entitled: “PROFILE OF THE FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF PAKISTAN. I might have let this go unresponded but the Document, unfortunately, is such an outrage that, with respect, it is surprising that a person claiming to be head of state should fall to such depths as to circulate such calumny against the Chief Justice of his own country.
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PAKISTAN PROTESTS – Edhi haggled by US Immigration & might be Deported

Abdul Sattar EdhiIts being reported that Pakistan’s renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi (Edhi Foundation) was interrogated by US immigration officials at the JF Kennedy Airport in New York for over eight hours, and they also later seized his passport and other documents,

Abdus Sattar Edhi told reporters “They asked me why I dont reside permanently in the US despite having a green card, he said. “I told them that Im a social worker and I have to travel extensively around the world, and so cannot live there permanently, he added. While talking to Dawn News he did mention that he had recently received a phone call informing him that he might be deported from the United States.

I sincerely hope that this turns out to be a farce and the US Immigration authorities do not execute this deportation as it would be additional salt of our wounds. I can guarantee that such an approach will lead to a massive outcry from every Pakistani across the world in unison. They all would stand testament to his selfless work for Pakistan over the past many years Mr Abdus Sattar Edhi is so highly regarded that many Pakistanis have been contemplating on nominating him for the Noble Peace Prize sadly that dream has not yet been realized but its embarrassing to watch this attitude dealt out by the American Government to our national heroes, might I dare say it will lead to worsening relationships, which are already dangling by a thread as it is.

On behalf of very Pakistani I issue a call for protest condemning this attitude meted out to our national hero, we hope that this issue may quickly be settled favorably and amicably. I would also like to demand a public unconditional apology to the people of Pakistan by the United States government for having humiliated our national hero in such away

Links – Pakistaniat, WatanDost & Dawn

How to Steal an Election Without Breaking a Sweat

This writeup was posted on the People’s Resistance network, this might be more of a general report but quite literally the upcoming elections in Pakistan have all the signs to be fully rigged. Pakistan fails on each and every condition mentioned here

From Abuja to Islamabad, autocratic regimes have become adept at manipulating “free and fair elections to stay in power. Heres how they do itand how to stop them.

Control the process

How its done: Its much easier to steal an election when there are fewer checks on executive power and no legal framework for resolving disputes. When the laws are vague, election commissions are often powerless to confront a powerful central leader. “When you have a partial constitution that doesnt lay out the details of election law properly, thats a problem, says Chris Hennemeyer, director of African programs at the election-monitoring group IFES, adding, “Its a tried-and-true technique to stack the electoral commission with your cronies.

Real-world example: Kenyas constitution invests an enormous amount of power in the executive branch. This allowed President Mwai Kibaki to create a vast system of patronage throughout the government based largely on tribal ties. The head of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Samuel Kivuitu, has recently admitted that he was pressured by the presidents office to announce results before he could verify their authenticity.

How to stop it: An independent judicial branch that is capable of arbitrating electoral disputes without partisan pressure is a must. It also helps if polls are managed by independent election commissions rather than interior ministries.
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Understanding the Petroleum Scam in Pakistan

I share with you a very interesting article published in The News yesterday discussing the controversial issue of the fluctuating price of oil, though it is an undeniable fact that we are intrinsically linked to the price of oil as prescribed by OPEC but somehow the varied fluctuations have never correlated with the international market, we have seen a rise in the price of oil even when the international markets were on the downhill. At the moment the international market is touching astronomical levels and we will soon see an upward trend of the local prices as well. I must give credit to Dr. Farrukh Malik to have taken on this rumbling giant to at least provide us with a short and digestible analysis

by Dr Farrukh Saleem
Published in The News on January 27 2008

In May 2006, the international price of oil hovered around $66 per barrel (OPEC Basket). On January 2, oil in New York was traded at $100 per barrel (NYMEX) while OPEC Basket was quoted at around $90 per barrel (remember, in January 1999, oil had hit a low of $11 per barrel).

Yes, in May 2006 the price of diesel in Pakistan was Rs37.18 per litre. Yes, Shell Pakistan is still selling diesel at Rs37.73 per litre. In effect, the price of oil in the international market has gone up by a whopping 40 per cent but the government of Pakistan is providing diesel to Pakistanis at rates lower than the international market (India hasn’t increased the price of petrol and diesel in 18 months).
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Judges under siege by Qazi Faez Isa

Published in the opinion section of Dawn on 28th January 2008

Carry a placard “Release Justice Rana Bhagwandas and you will be thrown into the slammer. FIR No.13/08 lodged at the Clifton Town police station confirms the highhandedness of Musharrafs despotic regime.

Justice Rana Bhagwandas started his judicial career as a civil judge at the age of 24. In 1994 he was elevated to the high court and then to the Supreme Court where he eventually became the senior-most judge, serving as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, whenever the Chief Justice was out of the country. He earned the reputation of hard work, dedication, clear thinking, impartiality and fairness. Upon retirement it has been the practice of the court to give the retiring judge a Full Court Reference, but in the building that now reminds one of the Supreme Court, traditions too have been banished.

On Nov 3, 2007, Justice Bhagwandas the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court was illegally incarcerated. After his retirement he was made a prisoner in his own home in Karachi. He caused offence because he did not break his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan when another was grinding his boot into it. “The people should fight for the law as for their city wall (Heraclitus, 5th century BC).
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Imran Khan Brings Anti-Musharraf Effort to US – NPR

Imran Khan in the USA short audio report on The Morning Edition of NPR talks about Imran Khan’s visit to the United States. He continues to argue for the independence of Judiciary and the need to pressure the American lobby to stop patronizing one man as the sole savior for all problems in Pakistan. Hear the discussion here


Morning Edition, January 25, 2008 · A former cricket star who leads one of Pakistan’s minority parties spent time in Washington this week meeting with lawmakers and speaking out against U.S. support of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Imran Khan, an international celebrity since his days as a sports star, leads a much smaller party than that of Benazir Bhutto, the leader who was killed last month. But in Pakistan, he’s nearly as well known as Bhutto. And he says that next month’s elections there won’t be real, if they happen at all.
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‘l’etat, c’est moi’ – the state is me.

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

The first time that I heard of him, was the day when I met him. It was at a ghazal party at the Defence Club. I noticed his penetrating eyes which seemed to be sizing a person on an already decided scale, his had shake was extremely firm and direct, and somehow it seemed, though this was of course a subjective appraisal this time on my part now that he was a simple man like me who had settled down to living his life according to a simplistic version of the Ten Commandments.

He seemed full of life during the evening. Often he would go to his staff car parked outside for obvious reasons and return with a rather boyish grin and a mischievous look in his eyes. He was a man who was enjoying his status in life to the fullest he was a Corps Commander with a difference, a man who seemed adamant not to be removed from the pleasures of the common company, from the common people with whom he mingled albeit from his vantage point high up on a pedestal. And after all (and I may not be able to do full justice to an urdu proverb here) that to what import to a peacock is the splendour of its dance if it takes place far away in a jungle where no one can see… To me it was obvious that we have a charming show man here who loves to play to an audience… that lucky are those who have him as their friend…

The evening when he was fired from his job and his plane was not being allowed to land, I had some entry mates from Hasanabdal over for dinner, and obviously by that time the rumours had started to spread, prompting different opinions. I on my part gave my prediction: I said that this man believes in standing next to his friends and would go all out to destroy his enemies a simple trait of a simple man who had never had the misfortune to contend with a much more complex world that lay outside his own very secure shelter. And I said to my friends that this man will take over the country…
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