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Posts tagged with: Lahore

Sindh is angry and Punjab is not helping – Shaheen Shehbai

Call me paranoid, call me crazy, but the way things have been unfolding for the past few months indicate that the top leadership aka General Pervaiz Musharraf and his party of thugs will do anything and everything to hold onto that seat of power. In the recent past there seems to be a deliberate attempt to exploit the differences between Punjab and Sindh to which even Altaf Hussain has fully responded in no small terms with his letter being published across the countries newspapers. A word of advise for everyone, let us not get sucked into an ethnicity issue here as Musharraf and PML-Q see this as a prime opportunity to divert peoples attention and retain their seat of power

I share with you the article by Shaheen Shehbai, just to get an idea of his own experience following the post Dec 27 situation, it can then be linked to the 200,000 arrests that have taken place throughout out Sindh. It must be remembered that Shaheen Shahbai has been a staunch PPP supporter and had to flee Pakistan for ‘the better world’ a few years back, he then ran a very hard hitting Anti-Musharraf website called SA Tribune [Offline] (archives still available here) which he claims to have shut down due to ‘health and family circumstances’ and also desired to ‘exit while he was on top’, apparently he did not cite any bureaucratic pressures, but one could only suspect that it might have been a contributing factor if not the prime reason to wrap up such a booming online venture, as the grind did leave its rough marks on the Government of Pakistan which had to resort to blocking the website in Pakistan back in 2004, in the days when I had barely started blogging.

By Shaheen Sehbai
The News, January 6, 2008

Deeply aggrieved, full of anger and passionately in mourning, Sindhis are baffled and confused at the strange reaction in Punjab, specially the ruling elite which has adopted an aggressively parochial attitude, not just against the PPP but against entire Sindh, after the death of Benazir Bhutto.

The accusations that large numbers of Punjabis have been forced to flee Sindh and become refugees in their province may help the PML-Q leaders rebuild their shattered election campaign but it is certainly not helping national unity and the cause of the federation of Pakistan.
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SAC Protest Call in Lahore at Minar-e-Pakistan at 2pm today

The Student Action Committee (Lahore) has called for a protest on the 8th of January 2008 at 2 pm at Minar-e-Pakistan. In full collaboration with civil society groups, lawyers and activists; this protest is to be registered against the removal of the Pre Nov 3rd judiciary that stood for a just rule of law and against the inefficiency displayed by the establishment which lead to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in the year 2007 and thousands of others.

The students demand that the pre Nov 3rd judiciary be restored without which elections cannot be accepted.

Aitzaz Ahsans baseless detention keeps getting prolonged while the stringent treatment meted out to him suggests that our current regime shuns standing for principles and only favors partisan attitudes.

While Pakistan is on the bring of being considered a failed state, the SAC (Lahore) urges the nation to join forces on the 8th and stand loud and strong at Minar e Pakistan at 2 pm.


HRCP Statement “Civil society for change at the top, fairplay and citizens rights”

Just received this press statement from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on discussion about the present political situation in Pakistan and condemned the wide spread arrests being made of all opposition leaders

HRCP Pakistan: Activists of civil society organizations and concerned citizens, including representatives of the four provinces, met at HRCP office in Lahore to discuss the over-all situation and the upcoming elections and summed up their concerns and demands in the following statement:

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has made the situation in Pakistan much worse. Elections have been postponed despite the demand by the main parties, including the most severely affected PPP, to stick to the scheduled date of January 8 2008. The new date for elections has been set for February 18, but there are apprehensions of further postponement and lawlessness. General Musharrafs decision to use the army during and after the elections is ominous as it aims to stifle dissent and public opinion through the use of force. The participants demanded that there must be no further delay in elections as this will only exacerbate the crisis of state and society.
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If a Bhutto must run Pakistan, why not Fatima? – Jemima Khan

This article appeared in the Telegraph today where Jemima Khan discusses Fatima Bhutto as the most logical heir to the Bhutto dynasty, I might also agree that the 25 year old has the brains and maybe the brawns to take over the reigns of such a big party, but will she? is still an open question. The most important issue to analyze that if she does stick her neck out for the top slot in the PPP will the Bhutto supporters rally behind her considering her ongoing difference with Benazir. I guess not… so honest advice would be for her to stay low and pick the fight at a later stage when the fruits are better for the picking, if she were to emerge now it could be political suicide as the strong Benazir sympathetic vote bank could rub her the wrong way.

In other news, discussions in many circles around town, I am also told that if one were to search for a male leader within the Bhutto empire then a good option would be to keep an eye on Murtaza Bhutto’s son Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Jr), many who have met this young chap say that he is very ‘street smart’ and could be a logical choice, though he is only 18 years old, but far more mature then the adopted-name-sake-Bhutto Bilawal Zardari.

Within the span of a few days since the assassination of Benazir, a strong rumor remains that a rift is already brewing up within the top ranks of the PPP since Zardari is not a natural leader and the more he interacts with the top brass the more differences continue to arise and the rift widens. It must be recalled that previously Asif Ali Zardari commanded respect and power under the umbrella protection of Benazir Bhutto quite simply because he was ‘the husband of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto‘ now with her gone it is a different story all together. I would not like to preempt the breakup but its important to keep an eye on whats brewing on under the covers

By Jemima Khan
Published in the Telegraph UK

Death duties are being reformed in this country and the upper limit extended. They don’t come more onerous than those left to Bilawal Bhutto, Zardari. Many Oxford undergraduates consider a career in politics; few are handed a political party, a new name and the statistical probability that you’re not going to die of old age, in bed.
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American boots in Pakistan will push miscreants into Pakistani homes

Guest Blog Post by Moin Ansari
Moin Ansari’s Blog

The push theory pushes drug dealers and insurgents out of an area. This action does not eliminate the the insurgents or destroy the insurgency. It simply moves and “pushes the insurgents to a different area, usually into civilian quarters.

The US and NATO have been successful in pushing the insurgency, though not the insurgents out of Kabul to the Afghan Pashtun countryside. NATO, Khad, RAW and others then pushed the insurgency into the tribal areas of Pakistan. Continued activity pushed the insurgency, (not the insurgents) into Swat and Islamabad.

Already some of this insurgency has spread beyond Srinagar. More boots on the ground will spread this fire deep into the heart of India. From the other side, Burma, Thailand already are fighting a growing insurgency.

A more animated intervention or invasion of Pakistan will further push the insurgency and the insurgents into Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, and other settled areas of Pakistan. Surely the US army will follow the insurgency and the insurgents. Drones flying over Islamabad and firing missiled children hidden in Aabpara or missiles being fired into Gulberg 3 and Husein chowk in Lahore?
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Citizens Group Calls for a Non-Partisan President

The Citizens Group on Electoral Process met on January 4 under the umbrella of PILDAT and after the meeting they have agreed to these basic points, the minutes of the entire meeting are attached below which was attended an impressive list of some 20 respected members of civil society. I hope this ongoing pressure can create change in Pakistan

  • A Non-Partisan President
  • Independent Inquiry Commission for the Benazir Bhutto tragedy
  • Appointment of a New CEC and Reconstitution of full ECP
  • Effective Use of Powers by the ECP
  • Restraint by the Political Parties
  • Responsibility by the Media
  • Peaceful Conduct by all Citizens
  • No Further Postponement of Polls on any grounds

PILDAT NEWS

Lahore, January 4; The Citizens Group on Electoral Process held its 16th Meeting at Lahore on January 4, 2008. and the minutes of the meeting are as follows.
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Nawaz Sharif blows his TOUPEE when asked ‘Tough Questions’

The Pulse with Jasmine on Business Plus PakistanYesterday Business Plus host Jasmeen Manzoor – The Pulse was invited for a one on one interview with Nawaz Sharif, at his home in Raiwind, Lahore. For starters the interview appeared to be going fine until Jasmeen touched on a few sensitive issues with Nawaz Sharif, more specifically his controversial 10 year deal with Musharraf and his relationship with the Saudi government, it is then he is said to have suddenly gotten angry to the extent that the plunged at the camera to confiscate the video, threatening Jasmeen and the Business Plus TV crew to not talk about it

This scribe got wind of this breaking news late this Friday afternoon around 3 pm when an email was circulated on the People’s Resistance network asking us to watch the program which might be aired at 3 pm on ARY ONE WORLD, but much to our dismay nothing came on and quite naturally we assumed that either ARY may have buckled under the pressure or PCO-Bound-PEMRA was hounding over them. Only to see a news ticker at 6:30pm on Business Plus stating they protested against Nawaz Sharif’s ‘confiscation’ of the tape. Hence the confiscation of the tape may explain why it never made it on ARY or YouTube for that matter.

Later at 7 pm ARY & Business Plus then televised a press conference in which Jasmeen Manzoor and Rana Mubashir spoke about Nawaz Sharif’s behavior and how he had lost his temper when asked routine questions about the deals, etc. questions that have often been asked to other politicians in the past.
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Daughters of Asma Jehangir Assaulted

A statement has just be issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission calling attention to the assault on the daughters of Asma Jehangir, the leading Human Rights Activist in Pakistan where she alleges that her daughters assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q.

Daughters of Asma Jehangir assaulted and threatened by gunmen of the ruling party

The two daughters of Ms. Asma Jehangir, a well known lawyer, human rights activist and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of religion or belief, were assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q (PML-Q); they were beaten severely and threatened to be killed. One of the girls was pushed into a room and this was only prevented due to the intervention of their mother. Ms. Asma. Ms. Asma herself was also threatened by the gunmen who used very filthy language against her. When police were called to the scene they took the side of the gunmen who claimed to be police officers. However, only two out of this group were policemen and the 20 other gunmen belonged to the PML-Q.

This incident happened at 1.30am when Ms. Muneeza Jehangir, Asma¡¦s eldest daughter along with her younger sister Ms. Sulema Jehangir and other friends, were making a video clip for her television channel, the Geo TV. She was filming the ripped posters and banners of the political parties in Lahore city, Punjab province, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former premier who was killed on December 27.
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Aitzaz Ahsan still a threat to the Government

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgI share with you a statement sent to us by Mrs. Ahsan who shares her frustration that her husband has yet again been placed under house arrest for another month starting this New Year. My hat goes off in salute to all those judges and lawyers who made this great sacrifice for the sake of Justice in Pakistan and their ongoing resistance against an illegal dictator and his illegal PCO. It seems the that the recent turn of events has only distracted us from the way Musharraf had ransacked and raped the Judiciary in Pakistan.

I can only look back to say, had if, the Judiciary been independent, then we might have been able to find the culprits involved in the assassination of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, but sadly it is the irony that she herself was not advocating the restoration of the only credible judiciary, but toeing the line of the illegal & compromising ones. Had if…..

Statement issued by Mrs. Bushra Aitzaz Ahsan

At this moment there is a Quran Khawani for Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed outside our house in Zaman Park in Lahore. The Quran Khawani has been arranged by me but my husband, Aitzaz Ahsan, has not been allowed even to step out of the house and participate in the Quran Khawani. He is detained in our house at No. 5, Zaman Park which has been declared a sub-jail and as of today his detention has been further extended for a period of 30 days. In fact the security and police presence outside our house has been greatly increased and a battalion of policemen guard it now in fear that he may come out and join in the prayer meeting.
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The NAB Diaries – Part Three

Guest Post by Amer Nazir


Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here


It is with a heavy heart that I write today. My condolence to her immediate family and to all who looked up at her and I fear for the consequences that face my country if things are not sorted out with maturity and dignity even now.

I read two newspapers while travelling the London underground on that fateful day, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror… and I could not believe my eyes. Both gave out the same message. Apart from the usual sympathy shown to a victim of violence, all of a sudden, almost overnight to be exact, a new verdict had emerged that she never was a solution for Pakistan…

Coming from the west it was a surprise, there seemed an indecent haste to dismiss her as a political leader of any significance whatsoever even before she was buried. More was written about the corruption in her time. It is not to say that there werent occasional mentions before but never were they so outright and blatant…
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Clarification by Aitzaz Ahsan on reversal of Musharraf’s Illegal Constitutional Amendments

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgSubmitted on the People’s resistance network, a clarification by Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan for publication in the newspapers tomorrow (25th Dec 2007) which shed light on how it is only possible to reverse Musharraf’s Constitutional Amendments – which according to him are beyond the scope of a simple 2/3rd parliamentary vote

December 24, 2007.
Press Note:

This is to clarify that Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan has wrongly been attributed a message to the Army Chief. In response to the Attorney General’s assertion that only a two thirds majority can rescind General Musharraf’s self-serving changes to the constitution, what Mr Ahsan said was that when an executive order is passed or promulgated by any executive authority, it can be rescinded or recalled by the same executive authority or its superior without the need for Parliament to intervene with a simple or two-thirds majority.

The issue is simple. The purported amendments in the Constitution have been factored in by a President exercising authority delegated by the COAS (what an anomaly: a subordinate delegating powers to his superior!). Even if these amendments be considered lawful (which they are not) they can be withdrawn by the executive order of the Defence Secretary, or the Defence Minister (any authority constitutionally superior to the COAS). Parliamentary intervention is not required.

That is the point.
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The Emergency Times: Issue # 34

The 34th edition of The Emergency Times has just been published, it remains a dedicated by a few activists in Lahore specifically friends at the PakistanMartialLaw.blogspot.com website, a round up of the news regarding the imposition of Emergency in Pakistan

Download it here in PDF Format


The NAB Diaries – Part Two

Guest Post by Amer Nazir


Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here


Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…

The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…

In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.
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Report of KPC Vigil on Eid Day for Aitzaz Ahsan

Report of the Eid Day vigil outside Karachi Press Club to protest against the way authorities manhandled Aitizaz Ahsan after he was suddenly ‘temporarily’ released then then abruptly arrested again. Report by Urooj posted on the People’s Resistance network

The CMKP Karachi DC organised a candlelight vigil at 06:00 p.m. yesterday (December 21) outside the Karachi Press Club, to protest against the bullshit meted out to Aitzaz saheb while he was on his way to Islamabad yester-morning.

Even though the entire thingum was put together at a very short notice, quite a few people showed up — around 20 loge thhey, I think. CMKP ki achhi khaasi representation thhee, with comrades Zafar Aslam, Khurram, Adil (who’s still suffering from the aftereffects of December 17), Zoha, Jaffer, some of our KU cadre, and myself. Humarey ilawa
there was Comrade Sherbaz from the Labour Party, while the rest of the people were from Peoples Resistance (PR).
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Aitzaz Ahsan Beaten & Detained – Vigils held in Karachi & Lahore

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgPosted on the Emergency Times mailing list and also on the People’s Resistance

Aitzaz Ahsan was picked up on the motorway enroute to Islamabad, beaten up, glasses broken and brought back to Lahore in a police bus. Is now suffering from bruises and fever.When he asked for a detention order, they shoved a gun in his face and said – This is your Order.

A number of Vigils took place across the country at 6:00pm on Eid Day. Lahore held a vigil outside Aitzaz Ahsan’s house at Zaman Park. Whilst People’s Resistance in Karachi staged a vociferous demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club condemning the ruthless attitude of the administration against Barrister Aitizaz Ahsan.