I have just obtained a copy of the Original supreme court order which was issued by the Honorable Supremer Court Judges before they were unlawfully overthrown by the Pharaoh (!).
On the fateful day on 3rd November when General Pervaiz Musharraf proclaimed Martial Law on Pakistan the then sitting bench of the Supreme Court was quick to issue a court order denouncing the extra-constitutional steps taken by Musharraf. The warned that these measures were taken in light of a high profile case that would have most likely have gone against he Government [motive]. In this order the President of Pakistan was prevented from taking any steps to undermine the independence of the judiciary. The order categorically prevented judges of the Supreme Courts and the Provincial High Courts from taking oath under the new PCO, and it also instructed all government officials to restrain from storming the Supreme Court and removing the sitting Bench in any manner. The order dated 3rd November categorically pronounced that any judges who took oath under this new PCO shall be unlawful and without jurisdiction. The seven member bench was headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Raja Fayyaz and Justice Ghulam Rabbani. Continue Reading
A video message by Imran Khan recorded from an undisclosed location while he is defying arrest. Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Justice Party) urges the youth to stand up for the country, while he asks the west to understand the fact that Musharraf is not fighting a war of terrorism but using this as a cloak to ensure he stays in power, and the only system preventing his reign of power was the Judiciary an with the emergency he has replaced all the judges with a string of corrupt judges who will accept all his conditions
The situation in the country is uncertain. There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers. Majority of the judges of the Supreme Court and four High Courts have not taken oath. The Chief Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The President of the Supreme Court Bar (Aitzaz Ahsan) and 2 former presidents, Mr. Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under the Preventive Detention laws. The resident of the Lahore High Court Mr. Ahsan Bhoon and former bar leader Mr. Ali Ahmed Kurd have also been arrested. The police is looking or 6 other lawyers, including President of Peshawar and Karachi bar. The President of Lahore bar is also in hiding. There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested. Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days. I am sending my detention order (please click here):
Ironically the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires. Lawyers and civil society will challenge the government and the scene is likely to get uglier.We want friends of Pakistan to urge the US administration to stop all support of the instable dictator, as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of civil strife. It is not time for the international community to insist on preventive measures, otherwise cleaning up the mess may take decades. There are already several hundred IDPs and the space for civil society has hopelessly shrunk.
We believe that Musharaf has to be taken out of the equation and a government of national reconciliation put in place. It must be backed by the military. Short of this there are no realistic solutions, although there are no guarantees that this may work.
As mentioned previously in one of my post barely a day back when discussing Benazir’s exit out of the country, I suspected that something was a foot regarding the Presidential Petition decision and it could be possible that the Supreme Court judges might revolt, well now with the martial law in full force I think its not wrong to believe that the only reason the Martial Law has been enforce was to curb the judiciary and overthrow them well before they make a full announcement. Follow the statement made by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah when talking to ARY yesterday.
‘Phone call’ that led to emergency
KHURRAM SHAHZAD – The Nation
ISLAMABAD – A reported telephone call by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry about a decision on the petition of Presidential election prompted the authorities to impose state of emergency in the country. A government official, when asked about the reasons behind the move, said that Justice Iftikhar reportedly informed one of his friends on telephone that the Supreme Court was going to hand down verdict against President Musharraf, which was tapped by the secret agencies. The agencies intercepted a call from CJs phone few days ago in which he even disclosed the number of judges favouring and opposing this decision, and this forced the top policymakers to devise the emergency plan, the official said. The official, working closely with one of the Presidential aides, further said that the government took extra time in execution of this plan so as to make it safer. Continue Reading
The following message by Osama Siddique who is a university professor at LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and arrested earlier alongside members of HRCP, was sent to us via the blackberry service within our comments section on a previous blog posting:
As I write to you many members of society are actively protesting against the travesty that has plunged us once again into the dark ages. The HRCP (Human Rights Commission Pakistan) building has been surrounded by police and peaceful protesters including some of our faculty members are about to be arrested.
In Islamabad and elsewhere the top judiciary of the country remains under house arrest and similar arrests are being made. The press has been completely muffled. This is the time to peacefully but unequivocally express our very strong dismay and protest against yet another martial law. However as we unite in this please ensure that nothing happens that in any way undermines our institutional norms. Please introspect and gauge whether continuing silence makes sense any more.
Please speak up, stand together and be counted. And be careful.
News analysis: Where do we go from here? By Najam Sethi
Several points are interesting and significant about last nights political rupture.
We have a state of martial law, whatever the government may say and however long it may last. The Proclamation of Emergency (PE) and the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) have been signed by the “Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf, and not by “President Musharraf or Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. In fact, a PCO is an extra constitutional deviation and only an army chief can order it.
The constitution has accordingly been “held in abeyance. But significantly, the PCO says that the country will continue to be governed, “as nearly as possible by the constitution. But where there is any other departure from the constitution apart from what is contained in the PCO and the PE from now onwards, it will be at the behest of the “President and not the COAS. In other words, General Musharrafs presidency has been confirmed and upheld by the PCO.
Supreme Court of Pakistan is about to give its verdict on Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s petition and it should be interesting to find out what possibly would be going through the mind of a supreme court Judge sitting not only at one of the most important and respected position in Pakistan but also at the brink of a possible division in history between pre & post 9 march of Pakistan.
The long & eventful struggle by people of Pakistan led by highly active lawyers community along with the civil society finally came to an end (or new beginning?) on July 20, 2007. I didnt mention political parties in above on my personal analysis of their failure to prove their sincerity & dedication with the cause, except possibility Imran Khan, the Center right voice who raised the slogan of No-Justice No-progress in 1996 when even prominent political voices like Benazir & Nawaz hardly seemed bother about this important balance-act in a society and country.
This post, in no way attempts to predict an outcome in this petition. It only tries summaries different influences that are not alien to a Judge’s mind Continue Reading
The Economist recently published an image in their August 16th issue which was a perfect reflection of the emotional roller coaster faced by General Pervaiz Musharraf and his feeble attempt to remain in power by a thin thread.
Last week the Supreme Court of Pakistan handed him yet another lethal blow by nullifying all agreements that were made between the Army and Sharif’s hence allowing the duo back into the country. While the entire country celebrated, it literally shook the Presidency including the lady in Abu Dhabi who may have gotten a bone chilling reminder that the Army has for the umpteenth time taken the Bhutto family on a roller coaster to disaster. Continue Reading
Barely four days left for the 60th anniversary of our beloved nation, but it seems that many citizens are just not motivated enough to celebrate this milestone. It appears that the people have been disheartened by the continuous political twists and turns that have besieged our country since the past few months which saw the attack on the the judiciary, the 5/12 massacre then the recent rumor of State of Emergency. Continue Reading
Its not easy for a nation of 160 million people stand on the sidelines helplessly watching one person lead our beloved country down towards a path of destruction simply because of his greed and hunger for power of the kursi. There are strong rumors floating around Islamabad suggesting that Musharraf might enforce a State of Emergency in Pakistan as per the Article 232 of the Constitution of Pakistan, quite forcibly pushing this nation into even more chaos and confusion.
In an earlier post I had outlined that Musharraf was playing this game of poker with only two cards in hand and both served up to him courtesy of the White House. The Americans had clearly offered him two options, first was to attempt to negotiate a deal with Benazir Bhutto and the second was a back up scenario just in case if the Benazir talks fail, then he was permitted to enforce a State of Emergency. All these ramblings and dealings were simply because the United States of America needed a moderate leader running the country so that they can continue to wage the war on terror around Pakistan Continue Reading
Today on May 12 the European Parliament issued a resolution on Pakistan which in effect puts some considerable pressure on Musharraf to shape up. They have itemised the charge sheet quite well touching the Baluch issue, dissappearence, Lal Masjid, May 12th, Supreme Court Issue and a number of other things.
I quote here the recommendations and have highlighted the salient features which can be easier to quick read the entire text. If you care to digest the actual document you can head on over to the European Parliament website
Tuesday’s clash in Islamabad at Lal Masjid left 10 dead and over 160 people injured if not more. I stand here dejected yet again at seeing my country in a state of turmoil, its sad but 2007 has been a rocky road for Pakistan. It started in early March when the state attempted to assault the Independence of the Judiciary, it then lead to the shocking events of May 12th where Karachi literally bled while the President of Pakistan stood by watching and celebrating a rent-a-crowd rally and now we live another climax with the stand-off at the Lal Masjid
As I pen this article I hear of a probable attack by the Army Special Services Group in an attempt to take over this siege and not continue to embrace Musharraf even further. All Hospitals in Islamabad have been placed on high alert, showing definite signs of an Arnold Schwarzenegger style invasion where the army will go guns blazing in an attempt to kill all the bad guys (!!!). It may seem like a Hollywood scripted pitch dark invasion but Musharraf for his dear life cannot let this issue continue even a day longer, as he is already bleeding from a number of wounds and this can become a yet another gaping wound if left unchecked. Continue Reading
Stratfor has recently published an article which was later picked up and later blogged by The Glasshouse. Considering the present political turmoil in Pakistan it is a good article to read and comprehend the power struggle faced by Musharraf not only limited to external political forces but also from within the ranks of the military establishment.
After reading this article I would recommend you to read a commentary titled ‘When the corps commanders speak‘ published in 11th June issue of Dawn written by A.R. Siddiqi, a retired Brigadier who reviews the Corps Commanders meeting held recently in Karachi Continue Reading
Well my fears continue to be realized with time and yet again we were not surprised when the President of Pakistan, the so-called upholder of the free press, went ahead to ink the new PEMRA ordinance which gives President Pervez Musharraf more authority in controlling the electronic media. Quite simply Musharraf was a supporter of the open dialog so long as they don’t question his authority, since March 9th the media has repeatedly asked him tough questions and he continues to fail in terms of Public perception and hence now Musharraf feels that the media must be brought under control to the extend of forcible shutting down media outlets if they do not follow the editorial policy to positively portray the image of Musharraf
Musharraf’s dictatorship upon the people of Pakistan has now becoming more threatening to say
I Command you to Praise me or else … off to the gallows
The free press bubble which was hailed as a breathtakingly new & bold initiative ever to have been undertaken by any previous Army General in the history of Pakistan, he proclaimed this feat as an important chain-link for his holistic concept sweetly termed as Enlightened Moderation. It was without doubt the free press / Enlightened Moderation (Anti-Taliban / Anti-Madrassah) concept fooled top leaders like George Bush into accepting his military dictatorship and continued to offer an extension to his stay in power. For the past seven years Musharraf has used the Free Media trump card against all critics who have dared question his rule on Pakistan quite simply staring down the individual with a simple response ‘has the press become freer like never before?’. I must admit the Press was free, it was allowed to blossom into a beautifully lily, the discussion and dialog was considered a democratic right of any individual, but how fickle were the foundations of this Enlightened Moderation & free press that the moment the media raised a finger to question the President of Pakistan in the same democratic manner, he rebounds with a clamp down on the media with a number of restrictions, in effect censoring the media forcing it to adopt a pro-government attitude.
The free media has without doubt glorified its creator [Musharraf] for over seven years…. When he showed them his candor during his interview, the media clapped…. When he showed them sparkling GDP and economic numbers, the media clapped…. When he showed them his finesse at handling the 9/11 crisis, the media applauded…. When showed them how to handle Jon Stewart on Comedy Channel, the media raved.
But when he showed them the assassination of Bugti, the media stood silent…. When he showed them that he was above the Law by trying to unseat the CJP, the media cried foul…. but what really pulled the string was when he deliberately left an entire city of Karachi at the hands of ruthless killers entrusted to foil the grand reception for the CJP, the media yelled ‘enough is enough’. The free media could not keep quite any more and considered it their journalistic duty to report the truth, they could not live with the guilt of having watched the assassination of more then 40 people on May 12th and smile to say ‘Shabash Mushy… Well Done’
Had if, Musharraf gotten his way on the fateful day of May 12th the massacre would never had made it onto TV and later that evening cowering behind inch thick bullet proof screens in Islamabad, he would have placed the blame of the ‘entire‘ massacre on the hands of the CJP and Judicial body rallying in his support, but that was not so, the people pf Pakistan had witnessed a shocking day and were not to be fooled any further, sadly the media spoiled his picture perfect plan.
Hence in an attempt to stop such incidents from ever happening again, the PEMRA ordinance has been strengthened to clamp down on such LIVE telecasts ever in the future the red-tape increased enough that the media outlets would unwillingly be forced to adopt the propagandistic policies enforced by the government, no more hot interviews, no more anti-government / anti-Musharraf debates, propaganda will be the easiest story to make the hourly headlines and breaking news will be limited a boring old PTV Khabarnama.
I have never been impressed by General Musharraf’s chest-thumping assertions about how he ‘gave’ freedom to the press. Freedom is not something that anyone can ‘give’ to anyone else. It is a desire that is inherent, intrinsic and ingrained within individuals as well as institutions. The credit for the expression of freedom by the Pakistani media can, therefore, go to no one except the Pakistani media itself. Having said that, it is also true that while freedom cannot be ‘given’ it can be ‘taken away.’ While freedom cannot be bestowed by government, it can — and often is curtailed by government. For much of his tenure, General Musharraf does deserve credit for having chosen not to limit or attack the freedom of the media. He cannot be credited with ‘giving’ the media new freedoms, but he should certainly be commended for not ‘taking it away’ — that is, until now.
Unfortunately, he seems to be losing his patience; and his cool. Like many before him, he now finds it convenient to blame the media for problems — such as the judicial crisis and the increasing anger against the military– that are essentially of his own making. He seems ready to undo one more positive aspect of his political legacy. Indeed, he may already have.
Musharraf cannot survive the year. His actions over the past few months have pitted the armed forces against the Pakistani public and a section of the establishment that includes the judiciary and civil society. If Musharraf continues along this present path in defiance of public and judicial demands, he may plunge the country into civil war.
Yes I feel its a defining moment for Pakistan and very soon we shall see who and what remains after the dust settles, but this is for sure Musharraf has his head on the chopping block, any takers?
The saga continues, the battle between the bureaucracy and the electronic media has now come to an interesting juncture. PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) has issued guidelines to all TV channels curtailing their freedom to cover LIVE events hence forcing them to seek prior clearance from PEMRA.
The trojan horse has been camouflaged under the pretext of following the existing regulations of western countries where all LIVE events are carefully screened by their respective authorities before the electronic media is permitted to telecast the event to its users. Continue Reading