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Posts tagged with: Lawyers

16 Dec decision of Supreme Court – A Critical Analysis

By Barrister Amjad Malik

16 Dec Supreme Court short order was an expected response of superior judiciary. Federation and all provinces through their lawyers jointly consented to its repeal, and none came to rescue the beneficiaries and even academic discussion was not made possible on the topic of powers to issue and right course of action to dispose off a bad law. 342 members of the Parliament jointly expressed their unwillingness to discuss and vote out this notorious ordinance despite the fact that it relates to them and their future on the whole as a club, and any order would have far reaching implications on the future of their brethrens good or bad. In that situation, what do you expect from judges.

They could not invent a defence for that ordinance so hated by the majority of the people, media and intelligentsia. If politicians were expecting leniency or a different judgment, its their own fault, and the problem lies with their capacity or capability not with the short order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On 5 August the writer in response to 31 July 09 decision which scrapped Gen Musharraf’s 3rd Nov PCO and emergency and wrote,

“Overall, a welcoming order, full of happy tidings, but similar amount of flaws, unaddressed anomalies, and legal circles expect a lot more explanation in detailed judgement, and I hope the order does the job in the end. This order is also reflection of various ‘compulsions’ under which Pakistani society goes through daily. The short order incites that there is more to come, and a detailed judgement will open a lot of avenues for further litigation. On the outset, Superior Court is mindful of the limitations they are working under and one can say that the decision has set the track on which SC is likely to go in near future. However, it is not a final decision, this is part of a series of decisions we must expect in the days to come”.
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The Lawyers’ win is only Partially Legal

Guest blog by Abira Ashfaq via her Note on Facebook

I just returned from a wedding and I got an icky feeling about the lawyer leaders. I saw some there. I caught a glimpse of Aitzaz, but before I could get my glamor shot with him, he had shot off to another function. I support the movement and its leadership. I support the support they got from the roots, and the movement’s progressive thrust. But there is an ickiness, and I know these leaders aren’t the radical, or even the clean hearted hippies I wish them to be. In fact some of them have only recently reignited that radical spark form the students’ movement of the 60s after years of real estate work. Some of them have vested interests. But I already knew that, and its not naivety that you accept flawed individuals, but pragmatism that you suspend your judgment as they invigorate a movement — as leaders. And learn. Hence, CJ as a symbol, as a trigger, as a mascot, as an illustration of resistance is fine – an impeccable judge or fashion model he may not be – but I’ll take the missing persons cases and applaud him anyway.

So I reserve my judgment, and hope that institutional changes are made, and the good decisions keep us afloat. The movement won, and the people are happy. But not really.

The judges were restored, but there is a constitutional problem that’ll make your head spin. As a friend in the movement tells me, there are 4 categories of possibly illegal judges – the level of their illegality depends on when the took the jinxed oath. 1) those who were judges on Nov 2 and accepted the PCO on Nov 3; 2) the new appointees under Mush; 3) the new appointees under Zardari; 4)those amongst the 43 judges of the Nov 2 who held out for months, and then when the movement waned, they took a cynical fresh oath.
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Update: CJP Flag Hoisting by Naheed Khan & Safdar Abbasi?

It was precisely 505 days since that fateful day on November 3rd 2007 when General Pervaiz Musharraf overthrew a sitting Chief Justice and replaced him with an illegally sworn judge. On Sunday 22nd March the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry will be reinstated and to celebrate the momentous occasion the official flag will be hoisted at his residence at 11:00AM in the morning.

It should have been a momentous occasion to celebrate the activists who helped the reinstatement. Now as the Chief Justice is about to resume his work, it is reported in the press that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan has taken it upon himself to hold a flag hoisting ceremony at the Chief Justice’s house. Talking to media he has said that political parties have been invited to participate in the ceremony while Naheed Khan, Safdar Abbasi and Shaharyar Awan (son of late lawyer leader Imdad Awan) are to hoist the flag.

One does have to wonder why such individuals have been picked by Aitzaz, to have selected people who have practically done little to help the reinstatement of the CJP Iftikhar. It seems more like a move by Aitzaz for political salvation amongst the potential PPP-breakaway faction, if for nothing else.
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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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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
SeenReporthttp://longmarch.seenreport.com
March for Justicehttp://marchforjustice.wordpress.com/


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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Declaration by the National Conference for the restoration of Independent Judiciary

Declaration adopted at the National Conference for the restoration of independent judiciary held at Islamabad on 4th March, 2009

This National Conference having deliberated upon the need for the restoration of the independent judiciary in the country and for that purpose it was necessary to undertake a peaceful and non-violent Long March to Islamabad and then to peacefully undertake a sit-in (Dharna) in front of the Parliament House, adopts the following resolution:

WHEREAS: This Conference is of the view that the actions taken by the General Musharaf on November 03, 2007 were wholly illegal, malafide and unconstitutional and therefore cannot be sustained;

AND WHEREAS: The action of November 03, 2007 ought to have been reversed by executive action and all their effects ought to have been purged immediately after General Elections of February 18, 2008 but was not done;
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Restoration of an Independent Judiciary: Truth, Myths and Realities

Peoples' ResistanceThe Peoples Resistence invites you to a seminar on Movement for Restoration of an Independent Judiciary: Truth, Myths and Realities

COME LISTEN TO SOME OF THE LEADERS WHO HAVE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT AS THEY TRACK THE HISTORY OF THE MOVEMENT AND DISCUSS TRUTHS, MYTHS and REALITIES.

Date: Monday, 23rd February, 2009
Time: 6:30 PM
Venue: PMA House
Speakers: Muneer Malik, Rasheed Rizvi, Qazi Faez Essa, Samina Noman

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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


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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The movement is here to stay

Shorter version of this appeared in The News on October 30th, 2008.

Victory of Ali Ahmed Kurd as President of Supreme Court Bar Association is a historic milestone in the history of Pakistan and the history of the Lawyers’ movement for rule of law and accountability of the country. This is not just a victory for Ali Ahmed Kurd but for all Pakistanis who are still actively involved in the restoration of the judiciary to Nov 2nd position. These include journalists, students, traders, political party workers, doctors, businessmen and other members of the civil society. This is a triumph for all those who had given their lives to the cause on 12th May, 9th April and in the various attacks either on lawyers’ gatherings. In particular this is a victory for the late soul of Advocate Imdad Ali Awan who passed away while driving the Chief Justice’s car in Karachi. Even with so many sacrifices and being stretched to 18 months, the movement is alive and popular support thriving.


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Ali Ahmed Kurd elected as the SCBA President

Ali Ahmed Kurd yesterday won the elections of the Supreme court Bar Association with a landslide victory uprooting Mohammed Zafar. After the landslide victory Kurd and his entire panel will replace the team of Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, and hopefully continue the aggressive campaign for the independence of judiciary.

Ali Ahmed Kurd clinched a thumping majority of Kurd bagged 1,052 votes out of a total of 1,724 votes. His rival Muhammad Zafar, the nominee of the Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) and openly backed by Attorney General Sardar Mohammad Latif Khan Khosa, former attorney general Malik Mohammad Qayyum and Ashraf Wahla group, could secure only 220 votes in Lahore

For the people supporting the rule of law and the independence of Judiciary over the last two years this is definitely a moment of hope to witness that many lawyers still support the movement despite all the negativity over the last years and attempts by many smaller faction to create a rift within the SCBA.


PBC suspends lawyers: What Musharraf could not do!

Guest post by Silence from Islamabad Observer blog

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has suspended the practicing licences of advocates Mahmood Ashraf and Rana Naveed, President and General Secretary, respectively of the Lahore High Court (Multan bench) for allegedly misbehaving with Latif Khosa, Attorney General of Pakistan, who also acts as an ex-officio Chairman of PBC. The PBC also restrained them from functioning as office bearers and operating the Bar accounts.

According to details, High Court Bar Association of Multan had banned Sardar Latif Khosa’s entry in Multan High Court Bar in a meeting of ‘General House’, yet he arrived at High Court Bar accompanied by lawyers belonging to People’s Lawyers Forum. The Secretary Bar, Rana Naveed and some other lawyers objected to Khosa’s presence there and ask him to leave and started to chant slogans demanding restoration of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Ifthakhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

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Sick of Musharraf lovers – a factual rant

Guest Post by Saira Ansari

I’m very disturbed, disappointed and sick to death to see the amount of facebook’ers on my list who think Musharraf’s leaving has been a catastrophe for Pakistan. Just because a new evil, a.k.a Zardari, is in the house does not mean that the previous evil is now a good man. A “leader” as some say. That’s our problem – as an entire nation. We forget and we repeat our mistakes over and over again.

People left right and centre have been levelling accusations at me, and countless others like myself, that we support Zardari. Unfortunately no one takes out 5 minutes to ask if that is so. Let me save you the time…we don’t. And no, he is NOT democratically elected. Hierarchic / Monarchic rule within the party does not ensure a democratic candidate, so stop ranting that its democracy that’s bad. We, the people, have been cheated again. The actual institution has been wronged.

I will get hate messages and mail after this because I get them often for my stance. Those who know me well know my passion for this country and its welfare so at least I can’t be labelled for propaganda as my other friends and colleagues are. But I must have my say – whether or not you bother to read the entire note.

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Nationwide Dharnas on 28th from 12:00-2:00pm

We apologize for any inconvenience in advance. as the judicial movement has exhausted all avenues for a amicable resolution and with the numerous broken promises by Asif Zardari in regards to Restoration of Judiciary, we feel its important to peacefully send a message and have decided to hold a Dharna for a period of two hours which might result in traffic being disrupted in certain section around the country at the following locations

For now our message is directed towards the ex-President Musharraf and the new incoming Presidential nominee Asif Zardari to undo the actions of 2nd November and restore that Judiciary as it stood then. Our message is strong enough to urge you to join us also if you do not want Zardari as President, you MUST join us today to fight for rule of law. Chaudhry Iftikhar did put a stay order on the illegal NRO which has sadly opened the door for the return of Asif Ali Zardari poised to make a mess out of our country
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