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Posts tagged with: Judiciary

The Deal has been finalized, the show will go on, hero’s need to be made

I share with you an email circulated widely by journalist Afzal Khan today –

Its a worrisome analysis almost in line with my earlier post today morning – The Sharif’s are being seen to have been allowed free movement while lawyers and political leaders are being arrested country wide. This lawyers revolution is for now the beating pulse of a nation, little do they factor in the frustrations and the voices of the people

The email from Afzal Khan carried the title The deal is clinched, but the show will go on (Afzal Khan)
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International Socialist inside the Lahore High Court

Just talked to Riaz and other International Socialists comrades. They are inside Lahore High Court. with Samina Noman, Noman Qadir, Salahuddin, Salam (LPP). They said that the atmosphere is absolutely electric. Police have fired tear gas shells INSIDE the Lahore High Court as well. And every now and then lawyers and political workers go outside the court and pelt the police with stones. This exchange has been going on for more than 3 hours now. But the lawyers/civil society people there are not backing down an inch. International Socialists comrades Rasheed and Bangash are also inside the Lahore High Court.

Salahuddin has taken a lot of tear-gas but he is okay.

Every now and then an injured person comes inside the court, but then more people go outside and pelt the police in anger.

Huge number of people are in and around Lahore high court. Waiting for Nawaz sharif to arrive.

International Socialists.

Country nears a Long March frenzy, but a deal brews underneath

I write this blog post early Sunday morning at around 5am, so my thoughts might not be all that coherent, but I feel some pressing points need to be shared before the Lahore stand off takes off in barely five hours from now at 10am on March 15th

  1. Shahbaz Sharif had a very urgent meeting in Islamabad last night [13th March] where he flew from Lahore to Islamabad [eye witness confirm], the talks were afoot that a few deals were being negotiated – namely the eligibility of Nawaz and Shahbaz would be settled, Shahbaz Sharif would then reinstated as Chief Minister and Governor Salman Taseer will be shown the door, in exchange the Sharif brothers will end the Long March with immediate effect. These basic issues were agreed upon by both sides [even the idea of ending the long march / defusing it], what remained a tackling issue was the exact process on how to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry. Shahbaz Sharif allegedly wanted solid guarantees and merely the ‘word’ of Zardari carried little weight, COAS Kiyani and Hilary Clinton were being propped up to foot the final claim but reassurances were not entirely satisfactory [or so we are told]. Shahbaz returned having not finalized the deal on the last point
  2. Gilani as off till the 13th March was playing a significant role in negotiations, but on the 14th was visibility out of the picture, he has been propped up by the US Government to play a more responsible role in settling this crisis, word is still out if he can or cannot deliver, but a few statement were made that gave good vibes to the public but it alone cant be the guage of the attitude behind closed doors
  3. None of the lawyers from other cities were permitted to leave their respective cities, Kurd from Quetta, Muneer Malik and Rashid Rizvi from Karachi.- But ironically Sharif brothers are given a free hand to move
  4. Lahore is allegedly clamped down any roads leading into or out of Lahore are effectively sealed
  5. But suddenly today early morning March 15 3:00am a convoy carrying Shahbaz Sharif from Raiwind breaks through a barricade and runs off onto the Motorway towards Islamabad
  6. Moments later news breaks out that hundred of police officers raid Rawalpindi bar thrash the lawyers sleeping there and are reported to have arrested 60 people
  7. March 15th will be the day of resistance in Lahore – to be strategically handled by the elder brother Mian Nawaz Sharif
  8. I honestly suspect this is a deliberate ploy to undermine the presence of Lawyers and other political parties while paving the way for PML-N to stretch their muscles in victory, lawyers being deliberately left on the sidelines, its possible that the only Lawyers that might make an visible appearance could be Aitzaz Ahsan & Hamid Khan arriving on the Constitution avenue, but with the sudden departure of Shahbaz Sharif from Lahore to Islamabad goes to suggest that he has full plans to hold the PML-N fort on the 16th March in Islamabad and would in all likelihood be the only person to really be allowed to make a big show
  9. Not that, it matters as long as there is the independence of Judiciary, but we must keep in mind that the NRO is not be debated and neither is the 17th amendment being talked about.
  10. Lets also not forget that the frenzy of the Long March only started after Shahbaz Sharif lost his Chief Ministership, and prior to that development, PML-N was on the fence playing second fiddle as it has continued to do so since Feb 18th with the Lawyers movement

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To March or not to March, other ways to make your voice heard

By Zermeen Amira

This post is inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali Jinnah who never broke the law and never went to prison while engaging in independence movement and the struggle for Pakistan. The post is also inspired by our tradition that says that if you see a wrong, the least thing one could do is to feel bad about it in ones heart, the next best thing is to say it loud that this is wrong and the most superior thing would be to do something practical to stop the unjust act.

Having said that I am appalled at the lack of ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity of our political parties both PPP and PML included in mobilizing popular support. Take the example of Lahore, at every nook and corner people are talking about the unjust acts of government in Islamabad. Other moms talk about it incessantly when I go to pick up my kid from school. Even the kids in my fifth graders class are talking about it! Yet a major majority of these moms, their husbands, their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts etc would not be part of the Long March even if they support it whole heartedly. So should we declare all of these folks coward, non-patriotic, chickens or whatever? Absolutely not! Refer to the first paragraph, it is fully recognized that different people have different tolerance levels of how strongly they feel about something and what they are willing to do about it, ranging from feeling bad about an unjust act to actually trying to stop it with legal but physical means; physically participating in the Long March in this case.
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Labour Party Pakistan activists arrested and beaten up

Post by Farooq Tariq

Police in Karachi arrested today on 12 March three activists of Labour Party. Dozens of lawyers and other political activists were also arrested. They were part of the long march which started today this morning from Karachi after police failed to stop it. The march was stopped outside Karachi at Toll Plaza by police. All the participants were forcefully returned and those who resisted were arrested.

Here the police targeted Nasir Mansoor, national labour secretary Labour Party Pakistan and member of national executive committee of LPP. He was severally beaten up and his car was snatched. He was shifted to a hospital in an ambulance. Here, police arrested Shela Rezwan, LPP Sindh Committee member, Samina from Peoples Resistance and Sadiq and Khalid of LPP Karachi. Shela and Samina were released after hours but Sadiq and Khalid are still in police custody. Police also arrested the main leadership of the lawyer’s movement over here. Most of the television channel broadcasted the arrests and beating of Nasir.
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Defiance in Karachi

Posted on the Peoples Resistance Mailing List

Today when I reached Sindh High Court Bar in the morning, I that the Police were hurdling protestors of JI and Qadir Magsi’s STP in Police vans. Still many defiant activists of JI and STP kept on pestering the police, who used to charge towards them after every few minutes. There were many policemen in plain clothes today as well. After sometime, around 100 lawyers came out of the High Court. Then other activists from LPP and Awami Tehreek also joined in. I along with my fellow IS members also joined in this procession, which started to swell.

We marched from Sindh High Court/Passport Office to the Bus Stop near Rainbow Centre, Saddar. There everybody got organised and got into there respective cars and buses. IS members also got into their cars. And from then on, the procession was great. We went from Quaid’s Mazar to Islamia College, to Jail Chowrangi to NIPA, to Gulshan Chowrangi to Sohrab Goth. It was at Sohrab Goth when we got out of our cars for a little while and chanted slogans and what not. It was great to see the familiar faces of Salahuddin and Noman Qadir (they helped us a lot during the last march till Islamabad). We crossed Al-Asif and were going smoothly when one of cars developed a problem.
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Long March LIVE updates

This combined effort to monitor all UPDATES regarding the Long March

The event has now been closed – you may replay the events here and they will Inshallah remain a documented in history to have been the day when the People in Pakistan stood up for what they believed in

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Section 144 imposed in Lahore – arrests underway

In preparation of the Long March section 144 was imposed in Lahore on Tuesday for three days effective from Wednesday.

Late tonight high level meetings were underway in preparation for conducting arrests of top leaders by the Government of Pakistan to prevent the lawyers and political parties from participating in the Long March – more updates to follow

Long March Twitterhttp://twitter.com/LongMarch
March for Justicehttp://marchforjustice.wordpress.com/

Method of Appointing Judges

Extracted from an email sent by the Emergency Moderator to the Emergency Mailing List on 8th March 2009

Guess: Zardari or MusharrafAs stated a few days back, we are circulating a proposal on the method of appointing judges that is somewhat more detailed than the one given in the charter of democracy. In the mean time, the PPP has appointed another chamcha as the Islamabad High Court CJ. This is on top of the induction of 16 jiala judges in the LHC (Lahore High Court). All these appointments must be rejected, the judiciary should be unconditionally returned back to the Nov 2 status, with all post-Nov 3 appointments reversed. New appointments should then be based on a formula that ensures that no political party is able to install its own chamchas in the judiciary. This is the only way to ensure the real independence of the judiciary, and nothing short of this should be accepted by the civil society.

Coming to the proposal we are sharing, it is not our original idea, but is being taken from a 4-part series of articles by Salahuddin Ahmed in June last year. This can be a good starting point for a serious attempt to design a new system that makes the judiciary genuinely independent.

Those seriously interested in the subject should go to the links below and read all four of these articles completely, but I am also quoting the most relevant parts from these pieces right after the links.
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Back to Square One

Credit FASTRising Blog

The following was written on 28th February – before the “mobile justice” Presidential Ordinance (finally withdrawn on 3rd March) and before the attack on the Sri Lankan national cricket team – in response to the promulgation of Governor’s Rule in the Punjab and the official obstruction of the Punjab Assembly sessions by the provincial executive authority.

Some observations:

  1. Why does the dis-qualification of the incumbent CM lead to the siege of the PA by the police? Imposition of Governor’s Rule – even if ordered by a democratically elected government – is an attack on democracy, on the right of the people to govern themselves through freely elected representatives. A simpler alternative would have been for the PPP to have said that decisions of the judiciary were not in its control, that they valued the alliance with the PML-N and that they would encourage the PML-N to pursue the case through proper channels – for example, the appeals process.
  2. Why do our civic liberties (freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc.) suffer because of a quarrel among the power elite?
  3. Democracy needs to be allowed to take root and the anti-democratic measures taken by the central executive authority – imposition of Governor’s rule, disruption of normal proceedings at the provincial assembly – at such a sensitive time may provide just the right conditions (dissatisfaction with performance, overwhelming disapproval of government actions, power vacuum) for the Army to carry out yet another coup.
  4. These two points taken together lead to criticism of both the PPP and the PML-N’s handling of the situation: Given the incredibly fragile condition of democracy in Pakistan, it is quite irresponsible of PML-N and PPP not to have worked out a better power-sharing formula. Irresponsible or simply incompetent. Some would say that it was impossible, that the rupture was inevitable. We simply do not have enough information but if some day the story of the behind-the-scenes negotiations between June 08 and February 09 comes out, it may well reveal missed opportunities and/or lack of vision on the part of our “leaders”.
  5. A 100g roti need no longer be sold at Rs. 2 – the price ceiling was removed the day after the so-called Supreme Court handed down its disqualification ruling. Why should the completely de-politicised and alienated poor pay the price of a power struggle?

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Sharif brothers declared ineligible for Elections

Sharif BrothersThe Supreme Court after prolonged hearing of Sharif brothers’ electoral eligibility case, finally declared today that the two brothers Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are ineligible for contesting elections which were held in February 2008.

This decision will actually throw into confusion Shahbaz Sharif’s position as the Chief Minister of Punjab and consequentially create a stand-off between PPP and PML-N, and their preparations for the Long March on 15th March in Islamabad. Though another case that must be brought to the Supreme Court is the eligibility of Mr. Asif Zardari as President of Pakistan who might have far more skeletons hidden in his own closet more then the Sharif bradran

Update: Pakistan Policy Blog sumaries the situation
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The Lament of the Blind and the Deaf

Guest post by Temporal from Baithak Blog

The usually well informed and articulate Anjum Niaz in this column is way off base

The one cardinal mistake she, and most of us make, is putting all our eggs in one basket. The controversial Chaudhry Iftikhar is not a panacea for all that ails us

Pakistan does not have the luxury of time

While we listen to the muezzin’s call from the minaret the world has left us way behind

We delude ourselves. We kill ourselves in the name of the same Allah we bow down to. There is no national institution that is not hollow and crumbling. And sadly that includes the bomb-hugging Army. Edhi is NOT an national institution, but a collective sigh

Bereft of faith and self confidence, we tire not of screaming at perceived attacks at our state, nation, religion, sovereignty, integrity, ideology

We love to point fingers at others when we should look in the mirror

That is our dilemma. I hope that it is not our undoing

PPP Suspends Aitizaz Ahsan’s CEC membership

Aitzaz AhsanThe PPP’s Central Executive Committee membership of Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan has been suspended and a show cause notice, over violation of party discipline, has also been issued to him. Secretary Pakistan Peoples Party Jahangir Badar said that the members of PPP’s Central Executive Committee unanimously made this decision as Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan violated party discipline.

Though the official dismissal charge is for ‘violating party discipline’ but its mainly due to his participation in the lawyers movement and his recent surge for the Long March. I personally think Aitzaz Ahsan should have quit from the PPP CEC long before, as it was felt that his on-going participation within the PPP Central Executive Committee may have damaged the lawyers movement from achieving any significant gains. The story still needs time to develop but Aitzaz Ahsan potentially has the following choices

  1. This expulsion can instigate the revival of the long awaited PPP-breakaway faction which can potentially be lead by Aitzaz Ahsan along with the numerous other PPP-leaders who were sidelined after Zardari hijacked the party
  2. Aitizaz Ahsan can possibly use this opportunity to join PML-N and become a force to reckon with
  3. Aitzaz can also use this party expulsion notice to revive the fledgling lawyers movement and maybe muster support for the upcoming Long March

Only time will tell how he alone harness this latest development

Mukhtar Mai being pressured by Federal Minister to drop case

Mukhtar MaiMukhtar Mai is due to appear in the Supreme Court of Pakistan tomorrow on 11th February for a hearing on her outstanding case. Since a few days reports have been emerging that she was under pressure from high level authorities to drop the case, specifically Federal Defence Production Minister Abdul Qayyum Jatoi elected from Muzaffargarh to drop the case and maybe even not appear in court.

Just now members of the Aurat Foundation, a womens rights watch group, have talked to Mukhtar Mai and she in turn has confirmed the reports of high level pressures to have been true. The womens rights groups have urged Mukhtar Mai to stay resolute and proceed to Islamabad for the hearing with full support to be extended to ensure her safety and perusal of the case

Mukhtar Mai is from the village of Meerwala, in the tehsil of Jatoi of the Muzaffargarh District. Mukhtar Mai suffered a gang rape [BBC Timeline] as a form of honour revenge, on the demands of tribesmen on the orders of a panchayat of a local Mastoi Baloch clan that was richer and more powerful than Mukhtaran’s clan, the Gujjar Tatla.

Long March 2009, Once bitten twice shy

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

9th March Long MarchOn 28 March 2008, when Chief Justice Chowdhary visited Mr. Zardari to pay condolences over the death of Be Nazir Bhuttoo, the writer wrote as following, “It’s an ill advice of half lawyer half politician leaders who sometimes are trapped in between party loyalty and the cause of independence of judiciary and forget that judge’s reinstatement is not an issue at all, the issue is their complete autonomy and independence. With this speed the way things are developing, we may get the jobs of those judges back but the process may affect the capacity of top judge to dispense justice on equality basis”.

The writer in his thesis recommended to form a committee and wrote, “People of Pakistan did not lay their lives to see a judge visiting the rulers which may seem an exercise to clear reservations or settle terms in order to seek his job back, its vice versa people want the rulers to come at the door step of the top judge who must be acknowledged for his steadfastness, bold stand and bravery and masses do not want the reinstatement of justice Choudhary, if it is not with full pride and honour, but they want to see the restoration of the prestige of the office of the chief justice who was detained with family, ill treated, and mal handled by state functionaries and law enforcement segments. It will be quite in the interest of ruling party to take the lawyers struggle down by slowly defusing the popular slogan of reinstatement and or bending the top man, however with wisdom, consultation and pride these tactics can be defused and jurist committee is a step towards right direction”. Though my writing went beyond notice and we had a long march without results. On the fall of long March 08, the writer on 16 June expressed his views and wrote in his column that, “ Lawyers are different from others only because they consult, take advice from seniors and agree to disagree on all major issues of principle. It also gives a lesson that with fiery speeches you may get applause but judiciary does not get independence. It requires sheer political will, joint collaboration and consultation in the national interest, wisdom and sacrifice which is pre requisite to translate this dream into a reality. May be consultation is the key which needs to be mastered in coming days by lawyers”.
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