In the past few days lawyers and civil society activists have been in full swing for the preparations of the Long March to Islamabad. This procession is based on the simple one-point agenda for the unconditional restoration of the independence of Judiciary in Pakistan. A large delegation is expected to leave Karachi on the morning of Monday the 9th towards Hyderabad and onwards. The schedule is as follows
For sometime I contemplated if this article may best be simply linked too in the collection of Decidous Links [mini-links] we have running on the blog but then it would not have opened an opportunity for comments and reactions and I suspect this heart felt article by Ghazala Minallah might evoke some comments from our readers here on Teeth Maestro
It appears that whoever comes into power in this God-forsaken country of ours, shuts themselves in a shell, oblivious of the cries outside. My head is bursting with questions, and I want my cries to be heard and answered. Firstly, why is Farooq Naek suddenly the biggest authority on the Constitution? Why is there a conspicuous absence of veterans like Justice Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, Justice Wajiuddin, former Chief Justices and judges of the Supreme Court and Aitzaz Ahsan? Is he the next Sharifuddin Pirzada in the making?
The recent unexpected verbal attack on Musharraf was eyewash meant to distract us and pave the way for the constitutional package. The package intends to reduce the chief justice’s tenure. It is ironic that such a ludicrous idea can even be considered by a party which claims to have its roots people’s hearts. Continue Reading
Economy is nose diving in Pakistan and people with load shedding, wheat and oil crisis are forced to take law in their own hands and we saw people burning the robbers in Karachi and indecisiveness is breeding law and order crisis, apathy and decline where any thing can happen as a result and whatever happens is not at all in control of the human mind and may affect the best interest of Pakistan especially when foreigners are flying like eagles on our rear borders. Those who came declaring themselves the champions of democracy are solving constitutional matters outside the Parliament and democrats this time have made parliament a rubber stamp not the dictator, Judiciary is on the road, Justice Dogar is unacceptable to majority and he is facing extreme resistance by lawyer fraternity, CJ Iftikhar has a personality clash with the President, establishment is confused waiting for further instructions, Police is unable to enforce law, and people doing road justice by force in the absence of credible judiciary and Malik Qayum fame tapes are in the market spreading revelations about schemes to keep Sharifs out of election race. In these circumstances 10th of June Long March of lawyers have hidden stings in it which are many fold and they may attempt to put deposed judges back in the Supreme Court by might which may result in a successful lawful coup or it can be counter productive to invite a counter coup by President throwing his wrath on the parliament for their indecisiveness, breaching their pacts and neglecting to avoid the economy from decline or at best military intervention to stop this unrest multiplying reaching no where which all ends in the collapse of the 18th February popular mandate of the people of Pakistan and in the end so much so for the democracy of Pakistan and people’s vote.
I for one, feel that we all are bound to look after the best interest of the state and at best if this uncertainty is allowed to loom, it can be disastrous for the state economically, politically, and socially. As any constitutional package containing unpopular clauses will hardly get to the stage of royal assent at least for a year unless Q or N league supports, I feel lawyers as well as people of Pakistan are getting restless because of this hit and run politicians who are ridiculing the judiciary by the very delay in restoring them. If they are unable to reach consensus then there must be some confidence building measures to show their commitment akin to the circumstances where politicians supported Musharraf to get elected by abstaining to vote instead by remaining in Parliament and in exchange getting a hero’s welcome on 18 October and issuing of a National Reconciliation Ordinance by the President who swore to keep BB and Babu out at every cost. Though we all are the passengers of the same boat and none have the exact answer but I have the following few suggestions throwing some workable scenarios for the legal hawks to brain storm in case the time comes for possible solutions; Continue Reading
A city wide call has been issued to all Karachiites who believe in the restoration of Judiciary to join Citizens, Students, lawyers, trade unions, civil society groups and show support for Restoration of the Pre-Nov 3rd Judiciary
The call is being issued by the Lawyers where the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry will do a telephonic address the local Bar and there will be a walk to show support for the Restoration of Judiciary in Pakistan
Date: May 22nd, 2008 Time: 11am Meet up Point: City Court , Karachi Address by: Telephonic address Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry Walk: The peaceful walk will be after the address by the CJP and will be taken to the Karachi Press Club Facebook event:Walk with us for Restoration of Judiciary
COME JOIN US IN THE FIGHT and walk with us as we march from City Court to High Court to Press Club letting the Citizens of Karachi know that the movement for restoration of judiciary still stands strong
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. Continue Reading
With Sunday’s decision by the Pakistan People’s Party to contest the elections, it instantly threw the PML-Q and the ruling elite into a frenzy, the PML-Q had predicted this move and a day before had announced a complete stoppage of their election camping taking the excuse of deteriorating unrest in the country following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
PML-Q had the perfect plan the entire elections were rigged to ensure a clear majority but the events on the 27th December would exude a definite wave of sympathy for the PPP enough to place them closer to a ruling majority. The election commission met today morning behind closed doors to make a decision but at the conclusion they had a decision but delayed the announcement for one more day. This in itself should expose the ‘independence‘ of the election commission which was being trumpeted as the upholder of free and fair election. Sadly it goes to prove that its nothing less then a nurtured organization installed to rig the upcoming elections for those toeing a Pro-Musharraf sentiment namely PML-Q, JUI-F & MQM. Free and Fair how truly breathtaking
A the start of a New Year I think its a good time to do a party-by-party analysis of the present political situation, it must be noted that things are changing dramatically in Pakistan on a moment to moment basis but on the morning of Jan 1st 2008 my understanding of the overall scenario is. But sadly in my analysis there are just one too many conspiracies going on to mean us any good Continue Reading
Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
It is with a heavy heart that I write today. My condolence to her immediate family and to all who looked up at her and I fear for the consequences that face my country if things are not sorted out with maturity and dignity even now.
I read two newspapers while travelling the London underground on that fateful day, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror… and I could not believe my eyes. Both gave out the same message. Apart from the usual sympathy shown to a victim of violence, all of a sudden, almost overnight to be exact, a new verdict had emerged that she never was a solution for Pakistan…
Coming from the west it was a surprise, there seemed an indecent haste to dismiss her as a political leader of any significance whatsoever even before she was buried. More was written about the corruption in her time. It is not to say that there werent occasional mentions before but never were they so outright and blatant… Continue Reading
Human Right Commission of Pakistan has just sent a press release where they share doubt that these election polls can ensure democracy read the entire press release here
The process leading to the January elections holds no promise of any transition to democracy. On the contrary, the elections are being used to sideline critical issues affecting the fundamental rights of people, including the ruination of the judicial system of the country, says a press release issued here on Monday by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
It says the lifting of emergency is a superficial exercise as the judiciary remains grievously damaged. The worst blow, it says, the judiciary has received is a series of attacks on its prestige. Continue Reading
The first reports arriving the day Benazir died was three gun shots to the head resulting in her death, after she was buried today the Govt of Pakistan Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema offers a complete new explanation for the cause of death, he said that she was NOT killed because of the three gun shots but in fact while collapsing into the car immediately following the explosion of the bomb ‘she collapsed and while collapsing a lever on the left side hit the right side of her head’, the left-right explanation sounds stupid enough since the gun shot came from the left. He was then quick to name Al-Qaeda as the organization behind all this.
In utter shock I feel this is yet another ploy by the government to blame the ‘terrorist organizations’, No one dares to accept that this could easily have been the outcome of Mushrraf’s eight year rule where he plunges his people in utter confusion and chaos – it is the people of Pakistan that saw Musharraf orchestrate blood shed on the streets of Karachi on May 12th killing hundreds, people seem to have forgotten the hundreds ruthlessly murdered inside Lal Masjid and their bodies were quickly buried within a matter of hours as if to hide a crime scene. Lets not also forget the annihilation being done in Swat and the northern areas. Continue Reading
Its been buzzing around the country that PPP might actually proceed to contest the elections on Jan 8th. A very high level meeting of the PPP is scheduled to be held today where this issue will be hotly debated after they come to a decsion of who will be the new party chairperson, in the wake of the assassination of the Life Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The candidates is the running are Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who in all probability will come out as the new leader, but it is rumored that Asif Ali Zardari might also be in contention (!!). The logic of PPP leadership for fighting the elections is simple, they want to harness the wave of sympathy that has spread throughout the country and feel it might actually land them a land slide victory into the parliament.
One must not forget that these elections are only meant to legitimize the rule of Pervaiz Musharraf who has used the terrorism issue to his own advantage since long, the elections are already a farce b any standard being organized by an illegal President with a self-appointed election commissioner and a lapdog judiciary toeing his every command. Unless these elections can be fully free and fair held under an independent judicial body it can be simply considered as a monkey circus to appease the powerful – I would strongly urge parties to boycott them.
The funny part in this boycott no boycott frenzy is that Nawaz Sharif yesterday was emotionally drawn into sympatising with the PPP workers and quickly decided to announce his parties boycott from the scam elections – which this blogger fully hailed as a great move, little did Nawaz Sharif know that the very next day PPP would pull a fast one on him and swing around to actually fight the elections. Leaving him hanging in a catch-22 situation all over again. The question remains to be seen if Ganja might actually think about reversing his decision and play second fiddle to the decisions coming out of PPP or will he have the balls to fight against this illegitimate election scam. We must remember that with BB’s death it may only charge up the atmosphere leading up to the elections but everything else pertaining to the elections remain the same – and pre-poll rigging remains in full swing.
Guest Blog by Naeem Sadiq posted on the People’s Resistance Network
One hopes that we have finally realised on a day as sad as this one, that the violence of the state and of fundamentalists can only take us to darker destinations. Never before have I witnessed such intense pain and sorrow, shared so much across the entire country as I saw on the evening of that fateful Thursday, when Benazir bade her final farewell. Moments of trial for a nation whose helpless citizens in a state of grief and distress feel utterly confused, uncertain and anxious about what might happen next.
Pakistan today stands at crossroads where it must choose between a civilised, peaceful, progressive and democratic path or disintegrate under an illegitimate , one person dictatorial rule. The choices are limited and the time is short. There may be one last opportunity to make amends and change the course of events. Perhaps a set of demands such as the ones listed below may help to unify the shattered people and provide a new roadmap for the future. Continue Reading
Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Pakistani elections: Will they be fair and free or fundamentally flawed?
20 December 2007
I want to express once again the appreciation of the International Crisis Group for the continuing attention of the Committee and particularly Chairman John Tierney and the other members of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to U.S. relations with Pakistan and the performance of that government concerning democracy, Islamic extremism and terrorism.
This hearing asks whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will be fair and free or fundamentally flawed. That question has to be asked now. Election Day will be too late.
The sad answer today is that Pakistans parliamentary elections will be fatally flawed unless political, electoral and legal conditions are rapidly improved. Today, conditions
to permit a fair and free election do not exist. It is December 20th- martial law was lifted five days ago and the election will be held in only eighteen days.
Election Day is the final act of a democratic drama. Act one requires objective and non-partisan rules and standards adopted and monitored by neutral authorities. Act two demands that parties are permitted to select their own candidates, candidates allowed to campaign without hindrance or intimidation, and a free press given unfettered opportunity to challenge, question, and report on candidates, parties and public issues including the illegality of emergency rule and the actions of President Musharraf and Pakistan security forces. Continue Reading
An Op-Ed article written by Aitzaz Ahsan which appeared on the Sunday morning New York Times website can be read here
The chief justice of Pakistans Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesnt seem to care about any of that.
The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justices lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.
As the chief justices lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque, my family and I were surrounded at a rest stop by policemen with guns cocked and I was dragged off and thrown into the back of a police van. After a long and harrowing drive along back roads, I was returned home and to house arrest. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading