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Posts tagged with: Imran Khan

US Senators meet Imran Khan to discuss the future of Democracy in Pakistan

Yesterday a very high profile meeting was held in Washignton DC with Imran Khan who met a high powered Senate group under the leadership of Senator Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader, other leaders included Senator Dick Durbin who is Assistant Senate Majority Leader, Chairman Senate Foreign Relation Committee Senator Joe Biden, Chairman South Asia Committee Senator John Kerry, Senator Patty Murray Member Senate Appropriations Committee and Secretary of Senate Democratic Party Caucus, Senator Casey who is Member Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Tom Harkin Member Senate Appropriations Committee. The meeting lasted one and a half hour. A press release issued by the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is quoted below.

Washington, DC Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met today with Imran Khan, a leading Pakistani opposition leader, to discuss the upcoming Pakistani elections and the future of democracy in Pakistan.

Khan, a member of the Pakistani parliament, leads the Justice Movement party and expressed deep concern about the Pakistani judiciary. Khan made it clear that Pakistan cannot have true democracy, or free and fair elections, without reinstating the head of the Supreme Court and the rest of the judges President Musharraf dismissed. He also believes that the February 18th parliamentary elections may be rigged, which would further undermine Pakistani democracy.
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Massive protest in London against Musharraf

Join Asma Jehangir, Imran Khan, Jemima Khan, PTI, PML-N, PPP and others at Demo outside Downing Street, London

A massive protest is being planned against Musharraf in UK. All concerned, students, lawyers, civil societies, political party workers, etc. are invited to come to this protest. If you are in or around London on the 28th, please try to come. The plan is to bring people from all backgrounds holding the flags of their political parties or the flag of Pakistan in case you don’t support any political party to represent the much united resistance movement against Musharraf.

Date: Monday January 28th 2008
Time: 11.30 AM
Location: 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
Tube: Westminister Station

Issue of Nuclear Deterrance for Pakistan

Guest Comment by Dr Arif Alvi

Pakistan at risk grenadeThe issue of Nuclear Deterrence in unsafe hands is increasing in proportion and is becoming dangerous enough for me to believe that it will get worse until actual force is used to neutralize our nuclear assets.

I feel uncomfortable in stating that I pointed these matters out since the beginning of the deal discussion. I spoke on Sajjad Mirs TV1 program many a time and other channels, before and during Lal Masjid standoff, when there were just indications of a deal, that the deal would not be welcome by the people. The deal implied US prescription to counter terrorism, and I said it would lead to more violence on innocent, more terrorism, bomb blasts and chaos leading to further enunciation of the argument that nuclear deterrence is in unsafe hands resulting in US led action to take it out and balkanization. Balkanization is no more a dirty word, frequently used by Mohtarma Benazir and now by Asif and Bilawal and others too. The war on terrorism is feeding on itself. More terror. more action.. and more terror with collapse of countries and societies.

Now friends, Al Baradaei and others are continuously harping on this issue making me believe that they would do that for about six months (like in Iraq), while situation will get worse in Pakistan, and then they will strike. All US think tanks are already stating that action will have to be taken.
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Latest update on arrests in Dadu and Naushero Feroz, Sindh

A few activists of the People’s Resistance are actively working in the interior sindh for standing up against this wave of arrests taking place today’s update is as follows

  • Dadu: 235 FIRs registered and 50,400 people booked.
    • 400 PPP workers nominated including both candidates for National Assembly Rafiq Jamali & Dr Talat Mahesar
    • All candidates for PS Pir Mazhar, Murad Ali Shah, Ghulam Shah Jeelani, Imran Leghari, Fiaz Butt, President District Bar Dadu Shafi Muhammad Memon, Barrister Pir Mujeeb, Former Minister Zafar Leghari (35 to 40 police stations total in Distt)
  • Naushahro Feroze: 151 FIRs registered 51,323 people booked.
    • 734 all PPP workers including candidate of Provincial Assembly seat 23 Haji Khan Bhutti nominated

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From President Musharraf to President Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari taking over PPPFor many the headline itself is a scary thought, but I assure you its not unimaginable…

Looking at the address by ‘Sir’ Musharraf to his humble servants today at 8pm was nothing even close to the ‘breaking news‘ we all expected but the more ‘shocking news’ was immediately following, the Press Conference by ‘Sir’ Zardari this press conference whosoever watched the press conference would have said watched Zardari in full authoritarian mode, I have seen Benazir run a press conferences, I have seen Musharraf run a Press Conferences, but when you watch Asif Ali Zardari run this gig one could shudder with the though that God forbid one day he be allowed to run our country. I stand utterly dejected at the though that the games these rulers are set to play with Pakistan, ALL OVER AGAIN

Let me explain my fears, Its sad but I actually see Pakistan back to square one just before 27th Dec – if we recall – many of us (probably not all) had total distrust with PPP as they were only there to grab their own seat of power and as a bargain patronize Musharraf, but other then that they had little or no concern with setting things straight in Pakistan, which would have meant fixing the judicial body hence Benazir simply had little or no concern for CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry or the notion of ‘Restoration of Judiciary’. For BB it was a game of words she had switched her campaign tactic from ‘Restoration of Judiciary’ to ‘Independence of Judiciary’. Everyone knew for a fact that BB will not, even for a moment, give a thought to the old non-PCO Judges quite simply because it would threaten her own existence in light of the NRO protection. Sadly with Benazir gone – its interesting to see that most of Pakistan remains distracted, yes I too sympathize the loss of the Daughter of the East, but when I see Zardari in place of BB running the PPP I shudder with the consequences for Pakistan
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Review of the Political Situation at the Dawn of a New Year

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
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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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List of Protests in Pakistan for 13th December

Where: Rawalpindi Bar
When: 11 am,
To bring: banners and placards.
Call by: LAWYERS, STUDENTS, Imran Khan and Qazi Hussain will be there in solidarity.

When: 3:30 pm
To bring: Candles, flowers, banners and placards.

When: 10.30 AM
To bring: Banners and placards.
Call by: Lawyers and judges of Lahore High Court, District Courts and Concerned Citizens of Pakistan

Where: University of Peshawar (Between UOP & Town Stores)
When: 10 a.m
To bring: Banners and placards.
Call by: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) & Civil Society groups

Why Boycott is not an Option?

Guest post by Ali Malik

In the outrage post emergency, I was confused about whether the opposition should boycott the elections or not? For instance, soon after emergency, when a Lahore based journalist (and one for whom I have high regard for), currently in Karachi, was emotionally advocating oppositions’ boycott of the polls, my only response was, I am not sure whether boycott is a good option or not. As the outrage is giving way to rational, I am getting more and more convinced that boycott is not the best option.

Before I build my case, let me clarify one thing. Just when I believe that boycott of 1985 elections by MRD was not the right decision; I am not ready to buy the argument that had MRD contested those elections, under Zia and his apparatus, it would have won them. However, what contesting would have done then was, make life a lot more miserable for Zia and let democratic forces have more bargaining power against Zia. And I don’t expect miracles happening in 2008 either. Then why am I advocating opposition contesting elections?
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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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Imran Khan refuses to contest elections under Martial Law

Coming through a number of sources, the PTI leadership is said to have refused to file election papers for the upcoming elections on the grounds that it is a farce and far from being fair and independent being orchestrated by a Martial Law administrator simply to enable him to get a life extension from the west for his much acclaimed ‘positive steps towards democracy’, sadly the world stands witness to the numerous human rights violations that have been conducted to see through this farce.

I am told PTI has taken this initiative as it passionately felt the need to pressure for change and stand shoulder to shoulder for an independent judiciary, it must be noted that other APDM parties may already be in the process to submit their nominations surely to play it safe and defer the decision for a few more days but PTI has in turn taken a very bold position.

The Path of a Patriot

Guest post by mhb

Opposing General Pervez Musharraf is not a cause worth endorsing solely by itself.

General Pervez Musharraf is not the man he was when he first usurped the seat of Pakistan’s government. Over time as his political age has advanced, he has undergone a staged metamorphosis: from an amateur idealist, to a practitioner of temperate Realpolitik, and then finally to an outright Machiavellian Prince.

It will be profoundly self-righteous of any single one of us to contend with authority that if exposed to the General’s temptations – the troika of International interests, institutional weaknesses and a manipulatable judiciary – we ourselves would not succumb to a similar fate. Opposing General Pervez Musharraf is therefore akin to focussing on the proverbial symptoms of a malady, and not its root, when in fact ours should be a struggle against the method of perpetuation of our affliction and not its recurring product. We are merely opposing a masque today.

It is high time that we question our motives before treading any further with placards in hand and slogans on tongue. The return to democracy we yearn for today can potentially be a rude awakening since General Pervez Musharraf’s successor in the wake of an all-pardoning National Reconciliation is set to be Ms. Benazir Bhutto. Notwithstanding those forgotten corruption charges of fraudulently amassing roughly $1.5B of the nation’s wealth[1], she is a more vociferous representation of strategic international interests than the General; she is the proverbial soldier of fortune.
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Update @ 1648: APDM Boycotts Elections – sans JUI

APDM in full unity has resolved to boycott this sham elections. On a number of grounds of which was the restoration of judiciary to the pre Nov 3rd status was very much highlighted. The insistence of boycotting the elections was strongly tabled by Imran Khan as he felt that the opposition should boycott to expose the sham elections. I am told that JUI (Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam) did not attend the meeting and hence it could be speculated that they will contest the elections.

I believe this decision should be applauded as the spam election would only go to approve the circus created by Musharraf and his reeling and dealing with Benazir Bhutto and the crooks all combined into one. Musharraf announced the elections as if to challenge the opposition to fall for this trap and in effect validate his attempt to present the world with an electoral process.

I hail this decision as it can indeed be the start of a struggle to resist the rule by Musharraf, a larger combined opposition sitting outside will maintain an ongoing pressure on the bureaucracy even if they go through this sham elections.

Update @ 1653: Imran Khan requested to Break Hunger Strike

I have just been informed that the Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in a meeting today in Islamabad has insisted with Imran Khan despite his commitment to the cause of restoration of Judiciary in Pakistan to break his five day long hunger strike in which he had also stopped taking in water.

They felt that his adopted measure of doing a hunger strike was influential while he was in prison simply leveraging the only tool he had available, his body. Once free the entire Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has promsed to continue its struggle for the restoration of Judiciary in Pakistan.

I have been informed that PTI is recommended to the APDM to boycott the elections with the hope that PPP and ANP will also join along and force the dictator to bring sanity into this country