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Posts tagged with: Benazir

Weakening Pakistan – NYTimes Editorial

An editorial published on the New York Times website about Pakistan – [link]

Pakistans president, Pervez Musharraf, insists his outrageous power grabs are aimed at stabilizing and protecting his country. His authoritarian maneuvers only weaken the countrys already feeble political institutions and fuel more political turmoil.

Turmoil is not what anyone needs in a country that is both armed with nuclear weapons and supposedly helping lead the fight against Al Qaeda. On Friday, dozens of people were killed in a bombing, apparently aimed at one of Mr. Musharrafs political allies.

Mr. Musharrafs decision to end six weeks of martial law was long overdue, as was his decision last month to finally quit his army post and take the presidential oath of office as a civilian. Any hope that he was nudging the country toward a genuine democracy was quashed when he also moved to exempt his own most controversial actions from any court challenges. That means his highly questionable election to a new five-year term will stand, as will his dismissal of 13 Supreme Court judges and more than 40 High Court judges.

Mr. Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup, so his rule lacks legitimacy no matter how he manipulates the countrys legal underpinnings. But instead of trying to strengthen Pakistans institutions, he is continuing to undermine them for his own power and profit. Meanwhile, Pakistans citizens leave no doubt that theyre sick of the former general. A poll this month by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (affiliated with the Republican Party) found that 67 percent of Pakistanis want Mr. Musharraf to resign immediately.
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A Demented Musharraf talks to Newsweek

Newsweek Online has published excerpts of an interview with General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf taken a few days before the Martial Law was lifted. I share it with you since reading the entire interview one does get an eerie bone chilling sensation that Musharraf has completely lost his sanity and seems to be raging maniac out to seek revenge against those who dared question is authority. He actually makes no effort to hide his anger and instead tries to offer a some lame logical [demented] justification for all his wrong-doings. Most important point to note is that there seems to be little or no concern about the future of Pakistan, only toeing the ‘Anti-terrorism’ concept to suit his own personal vested goal and in effect keep America off his back. Don’t take my words for it, read the entire interview and be a judge for yourself, do share your comments but in my opinion there is definitely a loose screw in the mind of this psychomaniac

Pervaiz MusharrafNEWSWEEK: Is there a difference now that you have shed your uniform and relinquished your post of army chief of staff?
MUSHARRAF: On a personal note, I loved my uniform. From the national point of view, I don’t think there is a difference. I think the overall situation will be better and stronger. The army is being managed by a chief of staff dedicated to the job, and I will be president of Pakistan, and if the two are totally in harmony, the situation is better.

You will appoint the heads of the Army?
I will appoint the chief. The security services report to the president and the prime minister … The ISI [military intelligence service] reports to the political leaders.

Once there is a prime minister, how do you see power being shared?
The prime minister runs the government. Then there is a National Security Council chaired by the president that meets to review situations. But this is only a consultative body. There is no sharing of responsibility really.

You announced [that the state of emergency] will lifted on Dec. 15. Does that mean that the regulations recently imposed on the press will be lifted?
There are no restrictions on the press.
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A Macro-Analysis of Barrister Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsans Open Letter

Guest post by Hassan Baig
Hassan analyzes the realistic implication of the open letter written by Aitzaz Ahsan to the Pakistan Bar Council on Dec 5

Barrister Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan is a leader in his own right. A populist leader even. Moreover, his read of the political spectrum and all developing eventualities is sensible and practical.

But perhaps not practical enough.

Ms. Benazir Bhutto is widely believed to be averse to the idea of the reinstatement of the deposed judges. In fact, she has gone as far as publicly chiding the lawyer community (and probably Barrister Ahsan in particular) to form their own political party if they so wish. This stand is understandable when seen under the light of the economics of it: the political and self-preservation costs to Ms. Bhutto of a reopening of her files by independent-minded judges are far greater than the costs of loss (if any) of the PPP’s public appeal as a result of her endorsement of the establishment’s agenda. Ms. Bhutto would never underwrite an option which pays dividends only in moral rectitude and not in monetary and/or realpolitik terms.
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A Very Happy Eid Mubarak & My Sincere Prayers for Pakistan

For all my regular readers, it will not be too hard to figure out my Dua for this Eid-ul-Adha. I sincerely wish each and every Muslim in the world a very happy and joyous Eid, while at the same time I urge them to take a moment to pray for Pakistan asking Allah, God Almighty to pull this country from these ruthless Pakistani politicians and guide it towards a better tomorrow. A dream which may seem more like a haze in the distance when we sit to watch leaders like Musharraf, Chaudhry’s, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, Maulana Fazul-ur-Rehman and Sharif brothers, offer the people of Pakistan a facade solution when in truth each and everyone of these so called politicians have a proven track record of being a country-rapist, stand to woo in the voters for another chance to dig his/her teeth into the treasure coves of Pakistan.

I sincerely wish everyone a Very Happy Eid Mubarak and also pray for a better and a bright future for Pakistan

Jadoogar of Jeddah [aka Sharifuddin Pirzada], Dirty Business all Over Again

The New York Times just recently published an article titled ‘On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path’ which looks into depth at the involvement of Mr. Sharifuddin Pirzada in helping General (retired) Prevaiz Musharraf in blatantly uprooting the constitution and enforcing a state of Emergency on November 3rd. This aged lawyer at 84 has been at the heart of quite a large number of political upheavals in Pakistan that one tends to get numbed with the thought as to how devilish this guy could actually get masterminding the the raping of the same constitution which he at one time upheld. It is no surprise that this counsel is oft referred to as the Jadoogar of Jeddah (The Magician if Jeddah) too many hidden skeletons that one cant even begin to start. Until this read his latest concoction served to the people of Pakistan

On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path
By Jane Perlez Published at The New York Times

At 84, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, mysterious, influential and scorned by Pakistans protesters, fixes things when military rulers take over here, scripting temporary charters and new oaths of office as constitutions are shredded and judges dismissed. Mr. Pirzada is the lawyer for President Pervez Musharraf, who turned to him when he decided he would get rid of a Supreme Court that was threatening to derail his re-election for a second term. By Mr. Pirzadas account, delivered as he sat on a brocade-covered couch in his living room, he met with Mr. Musharraf and his cabinet on Nov. 2, the day before martial law was imposed.
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Questions for Musharraf and Bush – By Aitzaz Ahsan

Article published in The Washington Post
By John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan

One of us chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee tasked with oversight of U.S. foreign policy, and one of us languishes under house arrest after transfer from a Pakistani jail for the “heinous” and “seditious” crime of representing, in legal proceedings, the sacked chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

As members of the political opposition in our respective countries and as lawyers firmly committed to the rule of law, we have a few questions for our heads of state:

How will you address the increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan in light of the growing, and not unjustified, perception among Pakistan’s democratic moderates that the United States is not willing to stand with the people of Pakistan against an increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic government in Islamabad?
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….the [word] Emergency has been LIFTED

Dawn News reports that the President General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf has lifted the state of emergency today only weeks before the January 8th elections, with a nurtured Judiciary, a limping media and a lap dog called ‘Democracy’ – “Yes, the emergency has been lifted, said a government official who declined to be identified !!!! [whats with all the secrecy!!!!]

It must be noted that all essential (country debilitating) items as initially prescribed under the PCO are now fully forcibly (unchallengeable) an integral part of a constitutional amendment, In all honesty (which the government refuses to highlight) only the WORD Emergency has been deleted from the vocabulary of the Government of Pakistan for now, everything else stays exactly the same.

The Judiciary as we know is non-existent instead filled to the brim with Pro-Musharraf judges, the PEMRA Ordinance continues to control all TV channels with an iron-clad grip for any anti-government propaganda [sorry its officially called objectionable material], with the NRO in effect Benazir Bhutto heaves a sigh of relief finally whitewashed of her corruption sins while simultaneously over 1300 proven MQM convicted thugs walk out into the streets of Karachi (with a vengeance) to reign terror supreme on this city yet again. I assure you this is no conspiracy theory, just plain facts, albeit a few intricate details which the government ‘accidentally forgets to acknowledge or mention’
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Musharraf’s covert Propaganda Being Handled By Self-Proclaimed Master of Deception, Ahmed Quraishi

Author of “Thesis” that US is Plotting Against Musharraf May Actually be an Intelligence-Connected Propaganda Consultant; Says on His Own Website that he Creates “Immaculate DeceptionTailored to Your Senses”

By Farid Alvie

Ahmed Quraishi’s ”enlightening” articles have been doing the rounds on the net of late. One can only describe him as Pakistan’s very own Bill O’ Reilly (with just as much credibility!). And like O’ Reilly, his most used weapon of choice is the tag of ‘traitor’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for anyone who criticizes the government (or perhaps just el presidente, the now retired generalissimo), be they politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics, human rights activists, former army officers et al. It seems Mr. Quraishi gets his inspiration (along with his fake American accent) from Fox News.

Even a cursory look at his website might help one understand Mr. Quraishi’s “unbiased, journalistic, analytical, and professional” approach to issues he so passionately addresses in his articles. Mr. Quraishi’s website is studded with countless gems that reflect the luminosity of his brilliance, breadth of vision, and intellectual maturity.
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International Public Opinion Polls – Pro-Musharraf Propaganda EXPOSED

International Public Opinion Polls (IPOP) has recently appeared onto the scene in the recent few months when they published the results of a survey conducted by this agency during the pre-Emergency period of August 15th to September 20th which showed General Pervaiz Musharraf leading the political pack with 42% while Begum Bhutto trailed at 32% and Nawaz Sharif fared only at a lame 26%. In a follow up survey a month later after Musharraf shed his uniform IPOP has come to record that of the 1000+ people surveyed in Pakistan approved the civilian President Musharraf by a whopping 74%

Generally numbers and figures don’t catch the eye unless one notices a startling discrepancy between a few survey. It has been on record that the International Republican Institute, a world renowned organization carried out a five-part survey over the past year which continued to show a decline in Musharraf’s popularity from a massive 65% in Sept 06 which took a nose dive over the 2007 year to land at a measly 22%. Comparing both IPOP and IRI surveys one does instantly notice 20% difference. In the popularity graph when comparing various leaders in Pakistan the survey showed that Nawaz Shairf poised at 53% popularity, Benazir Bhutto at 36% and Musharraf and Imran Khan at 22% and 21% respectively.
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The People – not just Civil Society – must Unite against the Common Enemies

An Interesting article posted on the Emergency Times Mailing list

By Yousuf NazarState of Pakistan>

There comes a time in a Nations history that the people must take charge of their own destiny. The issue now is not: boycott or participate in the elections. People want a just society, the Pakistani nation wants true democracy, and country needs its sovereignty back. None of the major players, the Establishment, Benazir or Nawaz Sharif or the Mullah-Military alliance can restore justice, democracy or sovereignty to Pakistan. The people and the people alone would have to fight this War for Pakistans Azadi. Let America and its puppets fight the so-called War on Terror.

We have been having elections since 1985 after Zia-ul-Haq imposed martial law in 1977 but virtually nothing has changed. It is even more ironic when some major newspapers publish meaningless and superficial articles with headings like “Let the people decide as if American intervention and Army do not exist. The business of the state and politics has become a mafia enterprise with the usual mix of big money interests and crime. This criminal enterprise has the active support of the Americans who find it convenient to use a corrupt instrument that a military dictatorship is. Either in its pure form or in a diluted form, that is, in a coalition with come corrupt politicians. Many developing countries have passed through this phase. But the will of the people ultimately triumphs. So we must not despair.
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Open letter to BB: Why I left PPP

A lengthy but interesting letter shared on the Emergency Time Mailing List, worth reading to understand the frustrations faced by a PPP supporter

Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Assalam alaikum.

After resigning from the basic membership of the Pakistan Peoples Party on 27 Nov, 2007, I am writing this letter to you elaborating my views, as a common Pakistani, on some burning issues confronting Pakistan today and how these issues, in my opinion, need your attention as a national political leader. Keeping my past association with the PPP, and with you, I assumed that I do have the privilege to write this letter, irrespective of how variant my views maybe with the current stance/political posture of the PPP.

This letter will also be sent to all those who received my email addressed to you when I tendered my resignation on 27 Nov, 2007. Thus, this letter is an open letter which I am constrained to write because of the numerous emails and phone calls that I received in response to my resignation from the basic membership of the PPP. All those Emails and phone calls urged me to state the reasons that forced me to resign from the PPP. Every one of them said that as Pakistanis they had a right to know, especially so, in the given political crisis prevalent in the country. Respecting their viewpoint I had to make this letter an open letter.
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Benazir – Why the world needs democracy in Pakistan

An Op-ed by Benazir Bhutto printed in Christian Science Monitor today, what one must note that Benazir has ranted about everything but the Judiciary, I share this piece here only to expose the hypocrisy of our so called leaders who hail themselves as the upholders of Democracy in Pakistan

By Benazir Bhutto
Benzair BhuttoDictatorship fuels extremism, which reaches far beyond Pakistan

The world has rightly welcomed President Pervez Musharraf’s retirement as Army head and announcement that emergency rule will end on Dec. 16. However, a crucial question remains. Is Pakistan heading toward a democratic future? Parliamentary elections are currently scheduled for Jan. 8. Among many worrying signs of corruption, the election commission is biased and not acting on complaints of fraud.

Yet if credible elections are not held, it will have dangerous consequences for Pakistan and the rest of the world community: Extremism will continue to grow, putting everyone at risk. The world must act to prevent this. It must insist on free and fair elections in Pakistan.
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Universal Human Rights Day marked as a Black Day in Pakistan

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), along with other civil society groups, will be observing December 10 (Universal Human Rights Day), as black day. The idea is to highlight the unprecedented human rights abuses by the government against the people and against all sections of civil society in 2007, including curbs on media and free expression; arrests of thousands of lawyers, journalists, students, teachers and human rights activists; charging lawyers and others under the Anti-Terrorism Act; house arrest of 35 judges of superior courts; and generally the people suffering terrorism; both at the hands of non-state militants and state agents.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Current Articles on Pakistan and Human Rights

  1. PM calls for collective efforts for promotion, protection of human rights
  2. Benazir’s dubious Human Rights record
  3. European lawyers to protest outside Pakistani embassies on 10th
  4. South Asians for Human Rights concerned over continued rights violations in the region
  5. Celebrating Int’l Rights Day without giving rights to the poor

Universal Human Rights Day – News from around the world

Protests in Pakistan on 10th Dec, 2007

    On that day, a demonstration would be staged outside Karachi Press Club at 04:00 pm. Please bring a black flag, bring a friend and bring yourself (if possible, in black clothes). Looking forward to see you on Monday, the 10th of December, 2007 at 4 pm at KPC.
    Black flags and bands should be displayed on the occasion. Members of HRCP and other civil society groups will gather outside the Lahore High Court at 12 Noon on December 10 to highlight such violations of rights.

Relevant Links :

  1. Human Rights Watch: Pakistan
  2. Human Rights Comission of Pakistan
  3. Pakistan International Human Rights Organisation

This, that and the other – Ardeshir Cowasjee

A very interesting article written by Ardeshir Cowasjee printed in Dawn 9th Dec

Having written a column for this week, but having no desire to be carted off to jail or to suffer any physical inconvenience not being a street fighter and, besides, not having too much time left to me I consulted my lawyer and asked him to vet it.

He is young, wrinkled with pragmatic wisdom. His advice: Scrap it! You have no rights at present. You can be picked up by the dreaded men of the agencies, you can be harassed, even tortured, and surely jailed. To so do, they can take you into custody from anywhere your house, your club, a friends house, your park handcuff you, tie you up, put you into solitary confinement, starve you in other words, enlightened moderation. We, your lawyers, will have to fight like King Leonidas against the Persians at the Pass of Thermopylae attempting to stave off enlightened moderation. It is far better to sit at home, stay away from your PC, and enjoy the company of friends in this fair weather.

Then I asked whether my animals were safe my dogs, my cat, my cockatoo. I was told that as they are my property they cannot be arrested but they can be killed. In fact, they have more rights than I do. At least they cannot be picked up. But, and a big but, who will hear you if you are caught?
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Pakistans Rich List of 2008

Short-listing Pakistan’s most influential business magnates or Groups has never been an easy task because there are the people who have been very powerful in nearly every regime that has held this country’s reins since the last 60 years and then we have had those seasonal species that maneuvered their voice to be heard better than most within the power corridors, but later vanished into the oblivion for one reason or the other. We have selected only those tycoons who have made their presence felt for a better part of country’s history, have earned consistently, have been setting up units at regular intervals or have been legends in stocks, currency or real estate business.

The list excludes many names that have previously qualified and all of Pakistan’s most prominent feudal land lords who would definitely make it to the top 10, expect the few land owners which have declared their assets and work force and registered with the CBR Islamabad. In order to promote the new and “unknown” Pakistani magnates we have excluded in previous entities.

Unfortunately, our extensive research does not currently include the names of a few stars that shone brightly amidst the galaxy of the influential creed of yesteryear like C.M.Latif of BECO- the Steel Man of Pakistan- who did make a lot of name once, but then got gifted with contentment somehow, although the late business wizard got very badly hit by Bhutto’s nationalization of 1970 which had inflicted an astounding thud to everybody in business then. Had it not been the case, many of our tycoons may well have managed to gain the kind of status greeting the likes of Birlas and Tatas in India today, if not the one saluting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Among these gifted individuals, you will find politicians-turned-businessmen, businessmen-turned-politicians or even the businessmen-cum-politicians. With malice towards none and with no intention to decorate somebody, We thus takes the pride of announcing these names. We hope this document will go a long way in serving as the most authentic endeavor of its kind for a very long time to come. It has been prepared very carefully in consultation with leading real estate barons, stock moguls, business leaders of virtue and senior bureaucrats at the Central Board of Revenue.
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