The 31th edition of The Emergency Times has just been published it is an effort by a few dedicated activists from Lahore managing the PakistanMartialLaw.blogspot.com website, a round up of the news regarding the imposition of Emergency in Pakistan
Reports are coming in that Justice Bhangwandas and Justice Rabbani are boarding a flight at 3:00pm from Lahore to insha-allah arrive at 4:45 to Karachi Airport for their first maiden voyage to this city after the upheaval of the November 3rd. People’s Resistance along with lawyers, trade unions and a number of NGO’s have planned to welcome these heroes to Karachi.
Location: Karachi Airport
Date: 16th December 2007 (today)
The plan is meet outside McDonald’s at Jinnah Terminal at 4:30 pm and please bring along flags (Black and Pakistan Flags), posters, banners related to judiciary and of course People’s Resistance. You may also bring rose petals if you can to shower these heroes on their welcome. The media is excepted to cover the arrival and we hope to send a strong message across the world that people will not forget the sacrifice made by these honorable judges
Guest Post by Amer Nazir
My name is Amer Nazir. I live in exile in London. It is a forced exile. I left Pakistan as soon as NAB took my name off the Exit Control List after a period of three years. If I had not left, probably I would have also disappeared forever like my best friend Ahmed Shujaudin a leading architect.
God willing and the Teeth Maestro permitting, I intend to write about my journey from a modest middle-class background to one of the top IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan before I fell to the extent that I became homeless. Once a familiar face in the so-called corporate social circles in Karachi it came to a point where no one was willing to take my phone call after all, I was a NAB accused. I was never to be convicted but it did not matter. The logic was straight forward. If Shuja had been kidnapped then surely Shuja must have done something terrible to cause it or else at least deserve it…
The scope of these four narrations hopefully to be published during the next four weeks is to narrate a very brief account of my business journey, my labour of love, after a briefest possible introduction of myself, the major space will be given to my NAB experience, the actual inside account, and the behaviour and the attitude of our kings of the castle.
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.
Where: HOUSE NO. 10 , STREET NO 16, F-6/3 ISLAMABAD
When: 3:30 pm
To bring: Candles, flowers, banners and placards.
Call by: LAWYERS, STUDENTS, DOCTORS, BANKERS, CIVIL SOCIETY, PENSIONERS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, MEDIA, BUSINESS COMMUNITY, LAW ABIDING CITIZENS
Where: LAHORE HIGH COURT
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
Today the legal community is celebrating with the news that Aitzaz Ahsan has finally decided to boycott the elections, in effect culminating in a full and total boycott by the legal community in Pakistan, barring those lap-dogs hungry for power. Aitzaz Ahsan had initially written in a letter to the Bar Council outlining his strategy for the upcoming elections in which he made it clear that if the political parties did not join together for a full and complete boycott, then lawyers must fight the elections and make a fuss in the parliament to restore the judiciary. His plan personally outlined some good strategy but the Bar council on the other hand urged its lawyers to boycott these sham elections. Finally today Aitzaz Ahsan conceded to these demands and decided to boycott. I share with you the press release issued by the offices of Mr. Aitizaz Ahsan today
PRESS RELEASE issued from the offices of AITZAZ AHSAN & ASSOCIATES on December 12, 2007
President Supreme Court Bar Association and Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan today instructed his advocates to appear before the Returning Officer withdraw his nomination papers filed by him to contest the forthcoming elections to the National Assembly. Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan had filed his nomination papers in constituency No. NA 124, Lahore as a candidate of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
The PPP leadership has been informed of the decision.
The government this morning withdrew the case against the `GOR 12 as well as the case against the LUMS faculty & students after the `general’s kind visit to Lahore,’ according to a friend. “Great Musharraf’s lenient view: hound them, arrest them, keep them in jail under the Anti Terrorist Act & Maintenance of Public Order, then act as the benevolent badshah’.
The GOR detainees, arrested from in front of Justice M.A. Shahid Siddiqui’s house to prevent his forcible eviction went to the Anti Terrorism Court today for their bail. Their senior lawyers argued the bail (Syed Mansoor Ali Shah Advocate, Khuram Khosa Advocate and some other lawyers and Asma Jahangir). According to an email by Imran Javed Qureshi, Program Officer-Law at Shirkat Gah, Women’s Resource Centre, “The Judge Syed Muzafar Ali Shah, held the decision in wait after hearing our arguments… and finally announced at 12:05 that the case has been withdrawn… now the procedural requirment are in process and Inshallah all will be released within 1 or 2 hours… (from the sub jail, Dr. Rehana’s residence). Activists including Deep, Farida, Abbas, Shahid, Hamid, Dr.Faheem, students and others (sorry for missing some names)… continuously standing outside the court for solidarity…”
According to advocate Asad Jamal, this development appears to be related to the fact that Musharraf has been invited to address the LUMS Convention (the President of Pakistan is the Chancellor of LUMS, which is run by big businessmen like Syed Babar Ali and Salman Dawood.
(Munir A Malik narrates a chilling account of his imprisonment and near-fatal illness caused by negligence)
By Beena Sarwar
“It was psychological torture to the worst degree,” says Munir A Malik, former President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), talking about his three-week ordeal in prison before he was belatedly taken to hospital with renal failure. “It can drive a person insane to be lying on a bed staring at the ceiling for 16 hours.”
Malik was arrested on Nov 3 from his hotel room in Islamabad. His colleague Justice (retired) Tariq Mahmood (who also got ill in prison) was with him earlier. Both had just reached Islamabad when they heard about the emergency. Expecting the arrest, Malik waited in his hotel room with the door open. The police arrived at about 10.30pm and took him to Kohsar police station where he deposited his cell phone. He arrived at Adiala Jail at 3am, half an hour after Aitzaz Ahsan.
The following day the superintendent said Malik was being transferred “to a ‘better class’, by which he meant B Class. Aitzaz threatened to bang his head against the wall until it bled if they removed me. They left.”
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?
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), along with other civil society groups, will be observing December 10 (Universal Human Rights Day), as black day. The idea is to highlight the unprecedented human rights abuses by the government against the people and against all sections of civil society in 2007, including curbs on media and free expression; arrests of thousands of lawyers, journalists, students, teachers and human rights activists; charging lawyers and others under the Anti-Terrorism Act; house arrest of 35 judges of superior courts; and generally the people suffering terrorism; both at the hands of non-state militants and state agents.
Current Articles on Pakistan and Human Rights
- PM calls for collective efforts for promotion, protection of human rights
- Benazir’s dubious Human Rights record
- European lawyers to protest outside Pakistani embassies on 10th
- South Asians for Human Rights concerned over continued rights violations in the region
- Celebrating Int’l Rights Day without giving rights to the poor
Universal Human Rights Day – News from around the world
Protests in Pakistan on 10th Dec, 2007
On that day, a demonstration would be staged outside Karachi Press Club at 04:00 pm. Please bring a black flag, bring a friend and bring yourself (if possible, in black clothes). Looking forward to see you on Monday, the 10th of December, 2007 at 4 pm at KPC.
Black flags and bands should be displayed on the occasion. Members of HRCP and other civil society groups will gather outside the Lahore High Court at 12 Noon on December 10 to highlight such violations of rights.
Relevant Links :
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), will “protest” on the International Human Rights Day, on Monday, December 10, saying continued curbs on media, ban on GEO, Royal tv and FM-99, have not only threatened the employment of over 5,000 newspapers employees but also the freedom of expression in the country and general elections without free media would be farce.
PFUJ, the representative body of the journalists urged the government to life the ban on GEO, Royal and FM-99, withdraw the amendments in the Registration of Printing and Publication Ordinance, RPPO, 2002 and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, PEMRA.
“Journalists in Pakistan have been deprived from their basic fundamental rights as well as economic rights,” it said.
PFUJ’s affiliated bodies will “protest,” by holding seminars, demonstrations and rallied the International Human Rights Day.
” If government has any case against GEO, Royal and the two FMs or has complaint against any newspaper they must come out in public and move to the court instead of isolating them and refusing to withdraw the ban,” PFUJ said.
At a meeting of teachers on 6th December, it was unanimously decided to form a Teachers Action Committee. With representatives from various universities, colleges and schools of Lahore including PU, LGS, NCA, BNU, LACAS, FCC and GCU, the aim of TAC is to provide a forum where teachers can unite their voices against the illegal imposition of emergency rule and the brutal oppression of the Pakistani authorities to suppress any voices calling for the rule of law and freedom. We the teachers believe that our silence is not an option in the face of state brutality. Our silence is not an option now that the judiciary has been dismissed and the constitution has been violated.
The Teachers Action Committee vehemently condemns the FIR lodged against 14 members of the Punjab University academic staff and 4 professors and 2 students of LUMS under sections 124-A, 188, 143/149, 16-MPO and 7 ATA (charge of terrorism). We stand in complete solidarity with our fellow academics and students who have been subjected to this harassment and intimidation and demand the withdrawal of all charges against them. Such repressive tactics to suppress the basic rights of Pakistani citizens are in
direct violation of not only Pakistan’s constitution but also human decency. We fully support the right of all Pakistanis to freely express themselves without being subjected to such oppression.
Reported on FAST Rising Blog
On the call of Students Action Committee, Lahore the students from FAST, LUMS, PU and other institutes gathered at Lahore Press Club to continue their protests. To demand the release of their detained friends, the protesters organized a hunger strike camp starting Saturday
Around a hundred students responded to the call to show solidarity to the detainees and to pressurize the establishment to release them. They were informed by the Police later in the evening that the detainees will be released on Monday. The cops pressurized the protesters to leave the place, shutting down the camp. The students refused and decided to continue their camp through the night to show their seriousness to the cause. At the time of writing this, around 50 students including a few females are present on this camp – footpath around the Lahore Press Club, and have plans to stay there and continue the hunger strike till their friends are released. Deployments of police have surrounded the protesters’ camp.
Short-listing Pakistan’s most influential business magnates or Groups has never been an easy task because there are the people who have been very powerful in nearly every regime that has held this country’s reins since the last 60 years and then we have had those seasonal species that maneuvered their voice to be heard better than most within the power corridors, but later vanished into the oblivion for one reason or the other. We have selected only those tycoons who have made their presence felt for a better part of country’s history, have earned consistently, have been setting up units at regular intervals or have been legends in stocks, currency or real estate business.
The list excludes many names that have previously qualified and all of Pakistan’s most prominent feudal land lords who would definitely make it to the top 10, expect the few land owners which have declared their assets and work force and registered with the CBR Islamabad. In order to promote the new and “unknown” Pakistani magnates we have excluded in previous entities.
Unfortunately, our extensive research does not currently include the names of a few stars that shone brightly amidst the galaxy of the influential creed of yesteryear like C.M.Latif of BECO- the Steel Man of Pakistan- who did make a lot of name once, but then got gifted with contentment somehow, although the late business wizard got very badly hit by Bhutto’s nationalization of 1970 which had inflicted an astounding thud to everybody in business then. Had it not been the case, many of our tycoons may well have managed to gain the kind of status greeting the likes of Birlas and Tatas in India today, if not the one saluting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Among these gifted individuals, you will find politicians-turned-businessmen, businessmen-turned-politicians or even the businessmen-cum-politicians. With malice towards none and with no intention to decorate somebody, We thus takes the pride of announcing these names. We hope this document will go a long way in serving as the most authentic endeavor of its kind for a very long time to come. It has been prepared very carefully in consultation with leading real estate barons, stock moguls, business leaders of virtue and senior bureaucrats at the Central Board of Revenue.