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Posts tagged with: CJP

Cricket in the Jungle

Guest Post By Samia Altaf

While everyone is focused on what will happen, the much more profound impact will be of what is happening before it happens. Something will happen after all, it always does when the dust settles there will be a deal: it will be Him, or him, or her in the drivers seat; or Him and her, or Him and him; rather less likely it would be him and her. It will matter a lot to the bunch of ladies and gentlemen, honorable individuals all, who want an office, a chair, a flag at any price and who need to bet right on who will be left standing when the music stops. But what will it matter to us? We have seen them all, individually and in pairs, we have seen them all. And we know that nothing much will change when the dust settles and the music stops.

But what is happening matters, and will matter, a lot to us because it will define the kind of society we will have to live in over the decades to come. It will define whether we move forwards or backwards as a society. And that is why we need to be involved, that is why we need to understand that what is happening at this time is more important than what will happen. That is why we need to make sure that we fight the fight that will be the more important one for our future.

Think of this in a stylized perspective. Imagine there are two states of societal development. The first state can be characterized as that of the jungle. In this state the primary struggle is amongst powerful groups over what would be the rules of the game under which other people would have to live and over who would impose the rules. The second state can be characterized as that of the playground. In this state, all the parties have agreed upon the rules of the game, and the contest is decided by who performs better on a given day.
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Teachers Action Committee

At a meeting of teachers on 6th December, it was unanimously decided to form a Teachers Action Committee. With representatives from various universities, colleges and schools of Lahore including PU, LGS, NCA, BNU, LACAS, FCC and GCU, the aim of TAC is to provide a forum where teachers can unite their voices against the illegal imposition of emergency rule and the brutal oppression of the Pakistani authorities to suppress any voices calling for the rule of law and freedom. We the teachers believe that our silence is not an option in the face of state brutality. Our silence is not an option now that the judiciary has been dismissed and the constitution has been violated.

The Teachers Action Committee vehemently condemns the FIR lodged against 14 members of the Punjab University academic staff and 4 professors and 2 students of LUMS under sections 124-A, 188, 143/149, 16-MPO and 7 ATA (charge of terrorism). We stand in complete solidarity with our fellow academics and students who have been subjected to this harassment and intimidation and demand the withdrawal of all charges against them. Such repressive tactics to suppress the basic rights of Pakistani citizens are in
direct violation of not only Pakistan’s constitution but also human decency. We fully support the right of all Pakistanis to freely express themselves without being subjected to such oppression.
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Request for the resignation of the Chairman NAB

Open Letter by Amer Nazir

Mr Naveed Ahsan
National Accountability Bureau,

Subject: Request for your resignation.

It is with astonishment that I have today read your speech given on the Anti-corruption day. The entire world is now finally coming to grips with the fact that the statements given by the Pakistan government are nothing but lies. It is not even ironic anymore that the same newspaper issue also carried the news that Pakistan has graduated to the position of the 7th most corrupt nation in the world.

Mr Chairman, NAB has absolutely no reason to claim any moral high grounds. Perhaps formed in good faith initially, it has emerged as a Gestapo type organization with the sole aim to impress the armys Holier than thou approach vis-à-vis the common citizens of Pakistan. This was the first and the foremost propaganda by the army and now the last defense to retain control of Pakistan and to manipulate its national wealth. And this image of the army is also destined to shatter quite soon.
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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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US Activist Arrested at US Senate Hearing on Pakistan

Peace Initiative-18.JPGOn December 6, Tighe Barry, a CODEPINK activist who along with Medea Benjamin was deported from Pakistan at gunpoint for supporting pro-democracy forces, was arrested at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on US Assistance to Pakistan.

Barry and Benjamin, deported on December 5, flew directly to Washington DC to attend this hearing. They had asked for the opportunity to testify about their firsthand experience with the heroism of Pakistans civil society and the brutality of the government, but were told that the witnesses had already been selected.

The first to testify was Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. His testimony was infuriating to Barry, Benjamin and the 10 other CODEPINK activists who were in attendance and holding up signs saying “No Money To Musarraf.
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Vigil for Muneer Malik’s Recovery

Tortured & Terrorised but Not SilencedPeople’s Resistance would like to issue a call for a 6-hour vigil outside SIUT today 7th Dec for the quick recovery of Mr. Muneer Malik. Please show up in full force and share your concern for this great leader and his struggling medial condition.

Location : SIUT Karachi
Date: 7th December 2007
Time: 6 pm to 12 am midnight
Bring: Flowers, candles, posters and banners supporting Muneer Malik and his dream cause the ‘Restoration of Judiciary’

Spread the word through out Karachi via Email – SMS and Personal phone calls lets have some good spirited Karachiites show up in support of his health. Please also note that this is NOT a confrontational meet up and will remain strictly a vigil to share our concern for the quick recovery of Mr. Muneer Malik

On Behalf of the People’s Resistance

The Silence of Friends

Guest post by Salman Ahmad

“In the end, what we will remember is not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friendsMartin Luther King Jr

The Chinese proverb goes May you live in interesting times and the past week has been nothing if not that. The openly accusatory e-mail exchange between Bilal Musharraf and myself, has been following a volatile trajectory in cyberspace.Its sparked off an intense cyber debate about whether I was right or not to disassociate myself publicly from Bilal’s father, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf. When the destiny of millions of people is being jeopardized by a flawed regime, personal friendships have to take a back seat.

Artists by nature represent a global civil society. In Pakistan, as in much of the subcontinent, this role is misunderstood by many who think that dissent is reserved only for political opposition,media pundits, human rights activists and religious extremists.The people who think that I’m jumping on the post-emergency Musharraf-bashing bandwagon should know that ever since I can remember Pakistani governments have sought to muzzle artists and poets who show dissent and protest.The celebrated Pakistani poet,Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote “Bol kay lab azad hain terey” but Pakistani leaders’ favorite artists have been those who behave like court jesters — nacho,gao,khush karo aur bhaag jao — rather than informed citizens who have an independent view of politics and society. Most of my career has focused on entertainment blended with social themes expressed through music, poetry and documentary films.
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Musharraf’s emergency upends Pakistan’s courts

By Nafisa Hoodbhoy, McClatchy Newspapers

A month after President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan , the country’s once-independent judiciary is in disarray and still under attack, making it unlikely that America’s closest ally in the war on terrorism will have a functioning democracy anytime soon. Police lines surround the principal courts, unfit judges are taking over the judicial apparatus and the enormous number of lawyers on hunger strikes has slowed the wheels of justice.

When Musharraf handed down his “Provisional Constitutional Order” on Nov. 3 , the federal Supreme Court was about to declare unconstitutional his plan to run for another term as president while remaining the army’s chief of staff. Musharraf said he couldn’t find a solution within the Pakistani Constitution, so he took “extraconstitutional measures,” with the judiciary a prime target. “Some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions,” he said in the order. Even though he’s given up his post of army chief of staff, donned civilian clothes and promised to end the stat of emergency by Dec. 16, Musharraf has said he won’t reverse his takeover of the judiciary.

He put Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, under house arrest and demanded that all other judges swear under his order that they don’t have the power “to make any order against the president or the prime minister.”
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Coalition of Concerned Citizens – A successful day on Capitol Hill

Press Release issued by Coalition of Concerned Citizens

An impressive number of Members of U.S. Congress and a Senator addressed a large gathering of Concerned Citizens to show their support for the restoration of pre-November 3 independent Pakistani Judiciary. In addition to the U.S. lawmakers, the representatives of Amnesty International, and International Crisis Group also spoke to a huge gathering. The large audience of Concerned Citizens included professionals, lawyers, physicians, and businessmen.

In her speech, Senator Claire Mccaskell from Missouri showed strong desire to restore the Pakistani judiciary. Senator Mccaskell showed her desire to make the U.S. Military aid to Pakistan contingent to “the rule of law. She strongly advised the Musharraf Government to restore the judiciary, or face the military sanctions. The Senator warned, “If the judiciary is not restored, Pakistan should face the threat of military sanctions.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren from the California accused the Musharraf Government of misusing the American Military Aid against his political opponents. She explained, “Pervez Musharraf’s government is using America’s military aid against political opponents rather than terrorists. She criticized the Musharraf Government for the abusive treatment of attorneys. She called, “The treatment of attorneys, such as Munir Malik, is outrageous.
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People’s Resistance issues a Protest Call for 13th Dec in Karachi

The meeting held at Karachi Press Club was a great success which was attended by quite a number of political parties, civil society groups, lawyers, laborers and student organizations. It was mutually accepted to answer to the call of People’s Resistance on the 13th of December holding a protest rally at Regal Chowk at 4:00pm and the participants would march towards the press club.

Of the political parties fully on board included PTI & PML, while PPP and ANP sat mumbling without any assertive stance on our primary issue of restoration of judiciary, a detailed report to soon follow, until then enjoy the pictures

Musharraf’s teams Mis-statements at Asia Society

A detailed rebuttal to Musharraf PR Teams Mis-statements at Asia Society Meeting in New York on Friday Nov 30, 2007 which ‘mis’represented by Nasim Ashraf, Kashmala Tariq and Barrister Ali Saif

My views before the event and after the event were all concentrated on the fact that this was sadly a pro-musharraf deal and Asia Society should have done better to widen the platform to actually see a proper debate. It must be noted that on Nov 8th Asia Society did conduct an Open Town Hall Meeting which seemed a little more balanced quite contrary to the 30th Nov event

The entire recording can be heard here [audio:113007pakistan.mp3]

Background: An Emergency was declared in Pakistan on November 3, 2007 by General Musharraf as Chief of the Army Staff and on the same day a “Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) was issued by him as President of Pakistan. Pakistans 1973 Constitution only allows the President of Pakistan to declare Emergency. It does not give any authority to the Chief of the Army Staff to declare Emergency. This illegality was acknowledged by General Musharraf in an interview with BBC News on Nov 16th (BBC). He specifically says, “Have I done anything unconstitutional and illegal? Yes, I did it on 3rd November. Under the PCO, President Musharraf suspended Pakistans 1973 Constitution depriving the people of Pakistan of their fundamental rights and preventing the actions of his government to be challenged in the Courts.
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First Things First : Muneer Malik Op-Ed in Dawn

Op-ed article published in Dawn, 6th December 2007 by Muneer A Malik, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association who is currently hospitalised following renal failure during his detention in Attock jail

It was heartening to see Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif finally sitting together. The formation of a joint ARD-APDM committee is a positive step. The committee is to agree on a minimum charter of demands that must be fulfilled before the opposition parties participate in the elections.

Naturally, the primary agenda of the opposition parties is to ensure an atmosphere where free and fair elections are possible. But such elections are impossible without the restoration of the superior judiciary to the status quo prevailing on Nov 2. There can be no transition to democracy without an independent judiciary.

Consider this. The Election Commission of Pakistan (EC) is responsible for the overall organisation and conduct of elections. It comprises a retired Supreme Court and one serving High Court judge from each province. The actual nomination and polling process is supervised by District Returning Officers (DROs), Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs). Serving district judges, additional district judges and civil judges perform the duties of the DROs, ROs and AROs respectively. The Chief Justices of the provincial High Courts have administrative control over the subordinate judiciary. They control their appointments, transfers and promotions.
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Aitzaz Ahsan Addresses the Legal Fraternity While Under House Arrest

Letter written by Aitzaz Ahsan from his sub-jail in Lahore to the legal fraternity while under house arrest

My dear colleagues,
Asalam o alaikum.

As I write this from a sub-Jail, let me tell you how proud I am of each one of you and of myself to be part of the community that is writing the present chapter in the history of our unfortunate country. As you are all aware we the lawyers are the vanguard in this long over due mammoth battle for civil rights and democracy in our country.

As for myself, jail is not new to me. I was first arrested as a one-year old in the arms of my mother when she courted arrest in 1946 after my father and grandfather had already done so in the Pakistan movement. During the Martial Law imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq I was arrested and detained without trial several times for long terms only because I pursued, even then, the ideals of democracy and an independent judiciary.

Let me assure you that the sacrifices that you have given and the selfless courage that you have shown for a completely selfless cause of an independent judiciary and civilian rule have no parallel anywhere in the world, even in countries from which we have borrowed the concepts of the rule of law and judicial independence. By seeking the restoration of the Chief Justices and Judges of all provinces we are in fact seeking to the save and strengthen the Federation. Ours is a noble cause.
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Save Judiciary, Save Pakistan

Save Judiciary, Save Pakistan
Originally Flickr’d by Techunar

I feel these two words truly interlinked. How can we expect to do anything in Pakistan, let alone run a country without an independent Judiciary. It has been my view that the present crop of politicians over the past 22 years (1985 to present) have repeatedly proven to have little care of the Pakistan and remain focused on amassing their own wealth and power, it is these politicians who have repeatedly ransacked our country seem poised for another slice of the cake.

Can we stop them, for the sake of Pakistan I believe we SHOULD

PML-N to reverse boycott decision soon

There are reports coming in from a number of news agencies that PML-N will very soon reverse their decision to boycott and succumb to the demands of their party stalwarts and contest the election. I truly feel that contesting the elections will only provide Musharraf with even more legitimacy to continue his reign on this country, he conveniently screwed up the Judiciary to pave his way to another term as the President of Pakistan, he claims to be holding free and fair elections but sadly how can anyone fall for this fib when the entire electoral process is being orchestrated under a Martial Law.

Recently Shahbaz Sharif’s papers were rejected by the returning officer but at the same time the other corrupt leader, Benazir Bhutto, continues fighting under the protection of the NRO standing to be vindicated of all her wrong doings as long as the PCO is promulgated into the constitution of Pakistan, which would effectively wash her slate clean of any wrong doings of corruption. One cannot expect PPP or MQM to work towards an independent judiciary, the PML-Q being the Kings party will not dare to call the foul while Nawaz Sharif has his balls squarely stuck in the grasp of the Saudi King and most importantly playing into the hands of Musharraf to dare utter a squeak. Sad but I see Pakistan headed into yet another sham assembly only to appease one dictators wish to rule a country

Nadeem Syed and Abrar SaeedLAHORE/ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has decided to end the boycott of the forthcoming elections and a formal announcement in this regard would be made in next few days. Highly-placed sources in the party disclosed to TheNation in Islamabad Sunday that the decision to take part in the forthcoming elections was made by Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, in consultation with close associates, bowing to the tremendous pressure of the party leaders, mostly in favour of taking part in the elections.
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