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Posts tagged with: Election

The Failure in the War on Terror – Not Osama but Musharraf

Source: The Harvard Crimson

The former head of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligences (ISI) political cell recently confessed that he was responsible for political manipulation in Pakistans 2002 elections that led to Islamists coming to power in two provinces and gaining 59 seats in the National Assembly. This fraud was the work of the Americas supposedly unfaltering ally in the War on Terror, General (ret.) Pervez Musharraf and his desire to paint an image of Pakistan as an extremely dangerous, unstable country ready to fall into the hands of extremists the moment he leaves.

Musharraf pretends that he is the only hope for the US in Pakistan. Closer analysis, however, suggests that his claims are far from true. In the 2008 electionswhich were much freer and fairer than those of 2002only 6 seats went to the Islamists. In addition, a secular party won the majority of seats from the North-West Frontier Province where the War on Terror is actually taking place. These results prove that the people of Pakistan are against religious fundamentalism, something the US has largely ignored. In 1999, Pakistan was a stable country with a moderate political party in power. There were no suicide bombings, no abductions by extremists, and people were free to move about without security personnel. By 2007, Pakistan was among the worlds most dangerous places. This transformation is the result of Musharrafs long, incompetent rule.
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TWA Internet backbone blocks only Blasphemous video URL

youtube unblocked in Pakistan on TWAYesterday all Internet users in Pakistan were up in arms protesting the sudden censorship of the entire Youtube.com domain. A number of theories circulated which ranged from vote rigging videos to the cartoon video containing the blasphemous images disgracing our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the appointed monitoring agency had issued a notification blocking a specific URL and a bunch of IP addresses, which belonged to the youtube.com domain. Since yesterday we all witnessed a domain wide blockade of all content from youtube.com and we generally had confirmed reports that this existed throughout out the country, only today did a kind gentleman shared with us screen captures of his computer showing the unblocked youtube website but the specific offending URL is censored from all TWA users. A bit of history all ISP’s in Pakistan connect through the FLAG backbone via the PTCL/PIE link but some ISP’s choose to go via the other bandwidth hub coming via TransWorld.
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Judicial Bus to Leave Karachi on Saturday

Sind High Court Bar Association has extended invitation to civil society, to join them in the first “judicial bus” leaving from Karachi to Hyderabad and back.

The rally, accompanied by November 2 judges of Sind High Court will leave Sind High Court Karachi at 9 am, Saturday, February 23, 2008 for Hyderabad.

On reaching Hyderabad, the judges will address the Bar Association there.

This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to show solidarity and let our voice be heard. Post elections, it is important to let all political parties know our unrelenting resolve on the issue of judiciary.

The route will be: Sind High Court (Saddar) – Malir Bar – Bypass to SuperHighway – Super Highway – Hyderabad

Vote Rigging Videos in Karachi – could this be why YouTube is blocked?

A few videos appeared yesterday barely a few days following the elections showing some polling officers setting up the voting process. I have personally not seen them but am told that they show some serious election manipulations of the four videos that were online two have been deleted but two specific videos still remain available. Sadly the release of these videos appear too suspcicouy close to the Youtube blocking which came barely a day after these videos become public

Alternatively you can use YouHide to watch this video HERE

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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

Sheikh Rashid flees the country

Sheikh Rashid was the first one to flee Pakistan after being humiliated in these elections. He lost both his seats, one by a margin of about 46,000 and the other by a margin of 62,000 votes. In the last elections he was elected from both these seats. Public love for him can be seen in this video which I advise you watch at your own discretion.

Let’s see how many of the Q-Leaguers will flee the country and join Shaukat Aziz and how many will join the opposition.

Pakistan Elections: Free, Fair and Transparent

Guest Blog by temporal who blogs at Baithak

The Pakistan elections are over and the people have spoken. But have they been heard?

It is after midnight Pakistan time and the results are trickling in. It appears from early results that PML (Q) the king’s party has received a massive defeat. And both opposition parties, the PML (N) and PPPP are surging ahead.

In the next day or two we will find out the total combined seats for PML (N) and PPPP. As of this moment they have 45 and 38 seats respectively for a total of 83.

Here is where the IF game comes into play.

Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are unlikely allies. Both the parties have been vindictive against each other and had initiated cases of corruption and abuse of power against the other when in power that are still pending before the courts.
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Election Roundup (0630 PST)

The rigging observed today by many observers was not enough to hamper the voice of the people. While there is plenty of documented evidence of rigging by parties notably the Q-League and MQM this was not sufficient to save them from a crushing defeat at the hands of PML-N and PPP. Details of the rigging can be seen on:

This blog
Emergency Times

You are also encouraged in the live blog that is being hosted right now at Chapati Mystery

A quick round up of the stance of the political parties with our stance for the restoration of the judiciary and removal of Musharraf:

Parties who have taken a public stance for the restoration of the Nov 3 judiciary

  • PML-N
  • ANP

Parties who have “promised” to impeach Musharraf:

  • PML-N
  • ANP
  • PPPP

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Missing Vote / Disenfranchisement

These elections have been confusing, many claim it to be free and fair, while others have a different point of view, though my blog is brim full of stories of the other side I care to only share now my own personal experience at having gone out to vote.

Did I want to vote? Plain and simple NO, Then Why Did I go to Vote? the answer was simply to nullify by vote so no one else could use the ballot. Was it legal? I don’t know? Was it my democratic right? I believe it should be, if I don’t have a candidate worthy of my vote I must have a way to say I do not agree, yet exercise my vote.

All day I had decided not to vote but when stories started coming in about blatant rigging. I scrambled and decided to nullify my vote. I went to my polling station, only to stand there for over an hour hunting for my name and not having found it, despite the fact that I had voted in the past few elections from 1997 and even seconded a candidate in 2002, but this time around I found my name absent from the voting list entirely even not traceable on the ECP Website as well.
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Election irregularities being reported on other Blogs

There are some interesting reports emerging on other blogs in Pakistan. Follow the links here

  • KO: My voting experience in the 2008 elections, where he shares his voting experience
    • KO’s own family where out of 10 people, only two were on the list, so 8 couldn’t vote.
    • His friends: Went to vote, his vote had already been cast. After making a big fuss, they offered to let him vote in someone else’s name, at which point he left.
    • His aunt: She voted thrice. I don’t know why. She went to vote, than she went back twice, and was able to vote again.
    • Another of KO’s relative: A party offered to vote for him, if he would only give his ID number to them – as he too wasn’t registered on the electoral list. (he is a registered voter, having voted 4-5 times before, but not on the list for this elections.) This happened at numerous places.
  • Karachi Metroblogs: Elections 2008 – Rigging Inc. Where A. Hamza shares his voting experience with images
  • The Guardian News Blogs are extensively covering the election fiasco with a comment from Jemima Khan as well ‘This is my third consecutive election campaign. This time I’m only here as an ex-wife and an observer … the conspiracy theories and dining-room debates in Pakistan are all gratifyingly similar …everything else about this election feels different, though … above all there is a palpable sense of fear’
  • France 24 headlines with Election riddled with rigging, says blogosphere
  • Cheers, E. writes Cheated. Robbed. Rigged!
  • Karachi MetroblogsDhandli in NA-249
  • PkPolitics140% Turnout in Karachi

If you find an interesting link worth sharing then please post ti as a link within the comments and we will try our best to update the post ASAP

Update @ 1902: Reports of Voting Irregulatires across Karachi

pakistan election riggingShared from the People’s Resistance network who talked to various people in the NA-253 constituency

Account 1: Voter was not registered but still went to polling station. she was told that she could still vote, and a ballot for someone who hadn’t shown up was given to her. For her spouse, who was not present, the vote would be taken care off, if she gave his nic no. he was also not registered. this was done.

Account 2: Voted on copy of National Identity Card

Account 3: Had to go to 10 polling stations looking for names of family who always vote. At the other polling stations, particularly th first, the staff would not try to find names on the lists, and pretended they had found one name, but when asked to read it out, it was wrong. from the MQM stall the incharge gave ballots of other people so that these people could vote. followed them and indicated to others that they would not let them around.

They didn’t vote there and went to 10 polling stations to look for their entries. finally found one which was quite far away and difficult to find. here the staff was operating as it should.

Account 4: Voted 8 times. Gulistan-e-Jauhar area

Update 1800: Observations from another voter

pakistan election riggingPosted by Faris Kasim of the People’s Resistance network

I was lucky enough to visit two very different polling stations today, clearly showing the inherent classism and divisions in Karachi (Pakistani) society today.

I first went to my polling station in Bath Island, NA-250 with my family and was really impressed by the arrangements. Policemen politely guided us to the right section, where I had to stand in a proper line for about 10 minutes before the first person checked my name on a clear voter’s list. He read my N.I.C # out loud and this was confirmed by 3 officials in one corner of the room. My father’s and my brothers name were clearly visible on the voter list as well. He put the black mark on my right thumb and asked me to proceed to the next table where two people responsible for handing out the National & Provincial balloting papers were sitting. After marking my candidates, I folded the balloting papers and asked the official if i had done them correctly, dropped them into the boxes and left happily. Maybe one reason for this order was because a European photographer was roaming around the polling station with a BBC Urdu crew.

Cowasjee was present in the room and was being interviewed by BBC. As always he commented, ‘Hona kia hay, salaa phir wohi ghundaa logh aaye gah!’ hahahahaha

The other polling station I visited was in Malir Halt, opposite to the airport, NA-256. This is a core MQM area and rigging is expected here. I dropped my grandmother and mother to the ladies polling area and this is what they’ve told me: ‘There were only 3 – 4 women standing in a line to go through the voting process (including my grandmother and mother) while the room was filled with nearly a dozen women, who were just standing around laughing and chatting. The tables were in a mess and no one was really bothering to mark the thumb, checking the voting list or even confirming the N.I.C #. Amazingly, women were being ASKED to put stamp the ‘kite’ section while the cardboard screen was lying on the corner, facing the wrong way! My mother was furious and told the ladies there to give my grandmother some room so she could use the cardboard area. When they were dropping the balloting papers in the boxes, two random women were staring hard to see what she had stamped.
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Rigging in Gulistan-e-Jauhar

pakistan election riggingReport from NA-256

Report appearing on the People’s Resistance network

I live in Gulistan-e-Johar. We went to the polling station to cast our vote at around 3 pm. and we were surprised to see the transparent rigging…..

There was only the MQM agents that were present there and none of the PPP or any other party for that matter had their representatives there. The rigging took place so obviously and clearly that I felt out of place.

14 year old kids were casting votes .. my niece was told to cast one.. not only that on my joke to a female polling assistant that if i can cast more votes she said.. that one can but only to the winning party…but in the light of clear conscious I refused.

Not only that one’s NIC is not being checked and even while stamping there is always someone that is present on your head looking over your shoulder..

Where are the agents of other parties.. where are the foreign representatives … where is any authority???

Beyond Belief: My first Pakistani voting experience – Narration from a Voter who witnessed cheating

pakistan election riggingIn NA-251 & PS-115 at PECHS Girls College, Karachi

Reported on the People’s Resistance network

The dhandli [cheating] I witnessed in the five minutes it took me to cast my first Pakistani vote was beyond even what a cynical person like myself could have imagined. I laughed in the face of its blatant-ness and had many who joined in, albeit, for entirely different reasons.

As we walked in, my NIC number was recorded on the left stub of my vote, and I was handed a sheet that had already been torn out from the book, so the vote I cast wasn’t the one that corresponded with my NIC number. I don’t know if that matters, but when I asked about the discrepancy, I was told it did not.

Then came the coercion (in a slightly intimidating way, if that makes any sense) to stamp the ‘Patang’. The woman voting before us, asked where she could vote? She was told, ‘right here on the table’, but she asked for privacy and was shown the flimsy cardboard screen.

While waiting my turn to stamp my vote, I saw one of the two women, who had made themselves comfortable enough in the room, get up and proceeded to stamp four white ballot papers in quick succession, before adding them in to the transparent ballot box for the provincial assembly. Her associate then did the same. I gaped in complete disbelief, and asked who the votes were from, and the presiding officer who was seated right in front of the ballot box, laughed and said, ‘yeh votes Allah ki tarf say hain’ [These votes are from Allah.]. Outraged by the unabashed dhandli, I asked why I had bothered to come and vote.

The ballot paper itself was disappointing because it didn’t leave the vote confidential, the stamp showed right through the paper!! So the extremely biased polling agents and presiding officers knew our vote,and yes only one party seemed to be represented. I was leaving in disgust after I voted when they asked me to have my thumb marked, and one of the presiding officer cheekily remarked, ‘Iin ko mat lagao, yeh tow wapas aa kar vote karain gee’, [‘Don’t mark her thumb, she’ll be back to vote again.’]

I left saying ‘nahin, aap daal deyna mairee taraf say’. [‘No, you are welcome to vote on my behalf’]

So even though, I am no political analyst or soothsayer, I can tell you that the ‘Patang’ will win in my constituency.