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Posts tagged with: Lahore

Update @ 1320: Chaos in Lahore

Emergency Moderator writes an update on the situation in Lahore

  1. There is a successful sit-in continuing outside Justice Shahid Siddiqui’s House (the Punjab government is trying to forcibly evict him because he didn’t take oath under the PCO – this is in violation to their own rules, which state that even on forced retirement an employee is given six months notice to find alternate accommodation). Asma Jehangir, Hina Jilani and others spent the night, and around 40 protesters are still outside the house forming a human wall to prevent any eviction. If you’re in the area, drop by and join in this great cause- 14 Tollington Road, GOR I, Lahore.
  2. The Police have completely surrounded the LUMS campus in Lahore – they are threatening to arrest any student that leaves. This is a preemptive strike against this afternoon’s planned protest – 3 pm at the Lahore Press Club – which all in Lahore are urged to attend. Students have revealed receiving threats from police, intelligence agencies and unknown plain clothed men. They are still resolute to protest peacefully and nonviolently.

Police Barricade LUMS, showdown expected

Updates coming in from The Emergency Times network that the police have surrounded LUMS in anticipation for the 3pm protest outside the Lahore Press Club

Police and intelligence agents have surrounded the Lahore University of Management Sciences campus with the intention of stopping students from going to today’s protest. Policemen have severely restricted movement into and out of LUMS and are threatening to arrest any student who leaves the campus. Earlier the SHO met up with the President of LUMS Student Council and threatened him to stop students from protesting or face dire consequences.

Coordinated efforts are underway to get activists from Lahore to start the SMS2Blog live updates which will give us moment to moment updates as it happens

Pakistan stops US Ambassador Annie Patterson from seeing Aitzaz Ahsan

Police stopped U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson on Monday from meeting Aitzaz Ahsan, who has been placed under house arrest since Nov 3rd. Ahsan was detained under emergency powers invoked by President Musharraf on November 3. The legal counsel for CJP Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was held at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi for nearly three weeks before being transferred to house arrest in Lahore and was even allowed to file nomination papers for a parliamentary election set for January 8.

Patterson had requested permission days earlier to meet Ahsan. When the envoy arrived at Ahsan’s home she was barred from seeing him, but was allowed to meet his wife, Bushra, along with several lawyers in another part of the house. “The ambassador met Bushra Aitzaz to express concern and repeated U.S. calls for all detainees to be released, including Aitzaz Ahsan,.

Justice Shahid Siddiqi’s eviction orders in Lahore

The People’s Resistance network is abuzz with news that Justice Shahid Siddiqui is being evicted from his home in Lahore

Asad Jamal in Lahore messaged at about 10.30 pm that Justice Shahid Siddiqui may be evicted from his official residence now. He later sent a text message saying: “Scores of lawyers & civil society activists are gathered outside Justice Shahid Siddiqui’s official residence at Tollington Lane, in GOR Lahore to show solidarity with him.” Spoke to on the phone and could hear much comotion all around, including Asma Jahangir’s voice saying that when the police came they would have to hit her first.

While earlier a contempt of Court notice was issued by Justice Shahid Siddiqi to the Reistrar of the Lahore High Couurt

30. 11. 2007

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Pakistani Election Commission bars Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan’s Election Commission Monday barred former prime minister and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif from a January 8 general election because of past criminal convictions. “His nomination papers are rejected because of his convictions, presiding election official Raja Qamaruzaman told Reuters in Lahore.

Its interesting to note that Mr. Nawaz Sharif in his hate to get out of the country after his govt was toppled in 1999, never appealed lower court decision against him, instead opted to get a pardon from the President. So the conviction stands, and even if the Election Commission had accepted his papers, that action would have been challenged in the court by his competitors. Hence, until the rules are amended, Mr. Sharif would have to sit this one out.

All this while Benazir Bhutto continues to hide behind the protections provided to her by the NRO which were added on to the PCO allowing her full protection to contest the elections. Free and Fair… Yeah Right…

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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Aitzaz Ahsan House Arrest extend for another 30 days – 24 hr Vigil Report

CodePink activists who have stationed themselves outside of Aitzaz Ahsan’s house in Lahore have reported that they have received confirmation that the police has just issued order to extend the house arrest of Aitzan Ahsan for another 30 days. Talking to Tighe Barry via phone just now he said that the Lahore winter was quite extraordinary and they have set themselves outside the house hoping that they might get a chance to meet with the imprisoned lawyer. He confirmed that the extended house arrest warrant was issued today extending the police custody by another thirty more days. More updates to follow and they will break away from the 24 hour vigil at 12pm on December 3, a good 10 more hours to go in 7 degree temperature. All the best guys

Ms. Bhutto, A free Judiciary But Detained Judges – An Open Letter by Ghazala Minallah

An open letter written by Ghazala Minallah d/o Late Justice Safdar Shah to Benazir Bhutto

Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto,

I was absolutely shocked and amazed at your latest statement regarding the judiciary. How could you, of all people, say that you believed in an independent judiciary BUT that personalities did not matter? If personalities did not matter then why was Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry removed? Why were some judges locked up whereas others were not? If personalities did not matter then why is Musharraf waging a personal war against the CJ? You do not have to be a genius to figure out the reason. How can you separate the personalities from the institution? What you have on Constitution Avenue right now is a besieged and helpless building. The unfortunate but harsh truth is that right now we are a besieged nation as well.

Ms. Bhutto, I am writing to you because your statement has shocked and disturbed me to the extent that I feel I have no option but to reach out to you in this manner. I would like to remind you, since you seem to have forgotten, that you too were the victim of a corrupt judiciary. If Justice Iftikhar had been the CJ of the Supreme Court at that time then perhaps your father would never have been hanged. Had the entire bench been like the present one then there would have been a unanimous judgment. But the judgment was not unanimous – it was a 4 to 3 split just one judge too many on the wrong side. One more upright personality on the right side and our history would have been different. So yes, personalities certainly do matter.
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US Human Rights Activists Stage 24-Hour Vigil at the Home of Aitzaz Ahsan

When: 12 noon, December 2 until 12 noon, December 3
Where: 5 Zeman Park, Lahore

Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry, members of the U.S. human rights group Global Exchange and the women¹s peace group CODEPINK, came to Pakistan to learn about the political situation since emergency rule was declared on November 3. One of the people they are most anxious to meet with is prominent lawyer/politician Aitzaz Ahsan, who was jailed by the Musharraf government from November 3 to 25, when he was then placed under house arrest.

Pakistan government representatives in the US have said that the lawyers arrested under the emergency law have been released. But when the visiting human rights activists tried to meet with Aitzaz Ahsan on December 1, they discovered that his home is still designated a “sub jail” and he remains hostage in his own home, unable to go out or to receive visitors. For that reason the U.S. activists decided to stage a vigil outside his home.

‘Pervez Musharrah is telling the world that he is committed to democracy. So it is outrageous that the head of the nation¹s Supreme Court Bar Association, Aitzaz Ahsan, remains under house arrest,’ said Tighe Barry. ‘We have come a long way to meet this man who we have heard is one of the great heroes of the struggle for democracy in Pakistan,’ said Medea Benjamin. ‘We will sit patiently in front of his door and sleep overnight in front of his door, asking his jailers to allow us in.’

CodePink – Vigil Outside a “Sub-Jail” in Lahore

CodePink activists were in Karachi for a few days and later headed off to the northern areas to take more part in the Anti-Martial law activities. Reaching Lahore they have already started making a ruckus and an article by Medea Benjamin on their visit to Aitzaz Ahsan’s house where he has been placed under house arrest

By Medea Benjamin

As soon as we arrived in Lahore, Pakistan on November 30, Tighe Barry and Iboth human rights activists from the United States–called the wife of the most prominent lawyer in Pakistan today, Aitzaz Ahsan. Ahsan is under house arrest, but his wife, Bushra, invited us to come by their office the following day.

The law office of Aitzaz Ahsan is connected to his home. When we arrived, the building was surrounded by 10 policemen. We entered the office and had a long chat with Bushra. She told us that her husband had been in jail for 21 days, and was then placed under house arrest. He was not allowed to leave the house, and visitors were not allowed in. I asked her if we could try. She smiled and escorted us to the door connecting the home and office.
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Eye witness account of Lahore Protest

A report of the Students Action Committee protest on 30th November as posted by The Neem Revolution on The Emergency Times

Students from 21 universities, under the banner of Student Action Committee Lahore, gathered today at Liberty Chowk to publicly voice their dissent. The streets were lined with hundreds of Police Elite forces which warned the students that they would be arrested if they did not disperse within fifteen minutes. Amidst chants of “NO” to this question of dispersal, student’s made it clear that police or no police, they would not disperse without making themselves heard. Students brandishing colorful placards and wearing black armbands flooded the liberty roundabout. Some members of the civil society, the lawyer’s movement, doctors, and human rights activists also came to express solidarity and support for the student initiative.
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Pictures from Students Action Committee protest in Lahore

Credit : The Emergency Times

Student Action Committee Lahore urges for an Election Boycott

Emergency Times has published a letter from the Student Action Committee in Lahore urging the political parties to boycott the elections

To the leadership of the APDM, PML-N, PPP and PTI,

The students of over 15 universities and institutes of Lahore have united to form the Student Action Committee, Lahore. We are also collaborating with the Student Action Committees of Islamabad and Peshawar. Together, we call to you at a time when the nation is required to unite. The institutions of the state have been maligned again and we, the students, have united to oppose their blatant subversion. In the absence of organized structures, it has taken us a while to unite, but united we stand to ensure that our country has a future. Our voices were raised and, then, attempted to be muffled from the first day following the emergency but we have remained steadfast in the face of mounting pressures and we request you to do the same.
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Boycott Elections Campaign – PML-N & PPP leadership contacts

On a number of mailing lists there is a extensive list being circulated which has the contact numbers of a number of top PML-N Leadership and their contact details. It can be found at Thought Stream, the best way to get their attention is to send an SMS to their cell phone numbers or better yet call them up (if they pick it up that is) and give them your opinion, be courteous and simply convey your message as briefly as possible, remember the might not listen to you for long before hanging up on you, my SMS to them yesterday and today simply read

The People of Pakistan urge you to please boycott the elections and not be a rubber stamp for Musharraf. Please make the right decision. Pakistan Zindabad

I suspect little do they know about electronic campaigning and hope our efforts have born fruits, inside sources say the PML and PPP leadership has been getting the messages and it has been influencing the discussion. Today’s APDM meeting is at 3:00pm lets keep our fingers crossed. As the PML-N has fully authorized Nawaz Sharif to make the entire decision on behalf of the party.

The PML-N and PPP list is temporarily included here pm this blog for about 24 hours and after which it shall be removed to protect their privacy my intention here is to only coordinate a pressure group which may influence their decision
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Citizens delegation meets non-PCO judges of the Sindh High Court

Report prepared by People’s Resistance

Judges of Sind High Court who did not take oath under the PCO of Nov 3 were surprised when they gathered for dinner at one of their homes, where a large delegation of ordinary citizens — students, businessmen, accountants, corporate executives, journalists, and activists were waiting with flowers and cake to meet them.. This meeting was part of the campaign to let these judges know that the people of this country stand by them and are proud of their principled stand.

The citizens delegation covered the entrance of the judges residence with rose petals. As each judge entered, he was presented with a bouquet of flowers with his name on it, on behalf of the people. On learning what the bouquets were for, the flower-seller sent two bouquets with love on his own account, said one of the citizens. Members of the delegation were receiving messages from all over Karachi as well as other cities asking them to convey their heartfelt gratitude to the non-PCO judges.
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