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Posts tagged with: Martial Law

The Graffiti Activist: Asim Butt [1978-2010]

I write today with a very heavy heart to hear that a fellow activist and an amazing artist is no longer with us. Asim Butt (1978-2010) aged 32 took his own life yesterday morning in his house, whatever be the circumstances that pushed him to taking this tragic step, it has left many friends shattered and in tears.

I personally knew Asim only briefly, but long enough to have realized that he did leave a lasting impression upon me. We interacted during the November 2007 General Musharraf’s martial law days, where he was one of the core founding members of the Peoples’ Resistance group in Karachi. With a section 144 enforce across Pakistan and the army & police out to arrest any violators, we looked for creative ways to visually register our protest, one pet trick were the covert gorilla protest which lasted barely 20 minutes in random locations across Karachi, but Asim brought in a new twist he organized a team of activists to graffiti various art symbols across Karachi that visually displayed our rejection of the dictatorship.

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Corruption threatens the civil system of Pakistan

Amjad Malik specially writes on post NRO scenario on corruption

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented to the government on Thursday a list of 248 politicians and bureaucrats, who were alleged to have plundered hundreds of billions of rupees but were cleared by the NAB under the National Reconciliation Ordinance 2007. Luckily, the presidential order could not be enacted by Parliament and averted national and international embarrassment though the order was initially styed by the top judge of the land, however, public pressure is mounting to bring those to books and a debate has ensued to have a national mechanism to rid, curb and deter corruption once for all in the country. Public demand is ever growing for imposition of a death sentence for corrupt across the board nationally in order to hold those on public position(s) accountable in order to recover public money, disqualify them from public offices and award those culprits exemplary sentences including that of a death sentence (if needed). The message is clear that nobody is above the law, and no one is immune when the matter is of dishonesty and corruption especially in public purse.

Islamic history and jurisprudence is full of incidents where the head of state remained sub judice to Qazi and answerable to public. Caliph Omer freely appeared before a Qazi so as Hazrat Ali who appeared in a case of dispute with a Jewish businessman, and off course nothing can be legislated against the Quran and Sunnah in Pakistan but critics will argue that its 21st century, law, constitution etc.
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Dictators and their Sons

Guest Post by Ahmad Nadeem Gehla

I have no experience of dealing with dictators or even their sons. Our generation however witnessed the brutality of former dictator Zia ul Haq against media, civil society, poets, writers and political workers. It has been two decades since former dictator burned in skies and things have changed drastically. Media and information technology has not only made information easily available but also developed a culture of civilized debate. The civil society has reorganized itself and has shown that it can stand firm against dictators during lawyer’s movement.

What has not changed is the mind set of dictator’s sons and their cronies. We are witnessing the retired generals and brigadiers coming to electronic media with revelations and defending their unconstitutional acts. Similarly, the ‘general’s sons’ turned politicians are not behind retired officers. They leave no opportunity to arrogantly defend their much hated fathers terming them martyrs and holy warriors. In a similar effort Ijaz ul Haq, a former parliamentarian and son of a former dictator Zia ul Haq tried to proved ZA Bhutto an executed leader and his own father a holy warrior and ‘Shaheed in an article published in ‘Daily News”.
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Pakistanis feel US is a bigger threat than Talibans: Al-Jazeera & Gallup Pakistan Poll

pakistan survey Al-JAn exclusive Al Jazeera survey of public opinion in Pakistan has revealed widespread disenchantment with the United States for interfering with what most people consider internal Pakistani affairs. This survey was done interviewing more than 2,500 men and women across the rural and urban areas in all four provinces of Pakistan on July 26 and 27. The margin of error is + 2-3 per cent at 95 per cent confidence level. Al-Jazeera wraps up the results in a detailed analysis but a quick look at the survey is as follows

  • On the Military Operation; 41% were in Favor, 24% in Opposition, 22% remained neutral and 13% were undecided
  • On US-Led Drone Attacks: 9% were in Favor, 67% were in Opposition and 24% chose to remain neutral
  • On Dialog vs Offensive: 41% felt the need for Military Action, 43% wanted a Dialogue while 16% did not have an opinion
  • On President Zardari: 11% felt he was Good, while a majority of 42% considered him Bad, 34% responded as Neither Good or Bad leaving the remaining 13% as undecided
  • On Pakistan Peoples Party: 20% felt it was Good, 38% responded that PPP was Bad, 30% said it was Neither good or Bad while the remaining 12% did not know.
  • On their choice of the Best Leader for Pakistan: President Zardari came at measly 9%, Prime Minister Gilani at 13%, Nawaz Sharif at 38%, 8% favored a Military Government, while 11% felt a joint PPP and PML-N govt was good, only 6% felt Religious Parties were beneficial for Pakistan, 6% of the respondents chose other leaders leaving the last 8% of undecided
  • On the threat from the Taliban vs the USA and India: 11% felt that Pakistani Taliban were a threat, India factored at 18%, while the US topped the threat radar at 59%, leaving the remaining 12% as undecided

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Supreme Court overturns Nov 3rd Emergency by Musharraf

Supreme Court of PakistanIn mammoth decision yesterday late evening – the Chief Justice of Pakistan Honorable Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and a bench of 12 Supreme Court Judges passed an order declaring the actions of Nov 3rd 2007 Invalid and unconstitutional. This comes after a struggle of over one year and 270 days since that fateful date in November 2007 when the then President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharraf enforced an emergency in Pakistan and over threw the Supreme Court replacing them with hand picked judges who approved and validated the Emergency Order.

Following the enforcement of a Martial Law across Pakistan in 2007 many lawyers, jounralists and civil society activsts rallied against this illegal aggresion by the military dictator. The struggle waged on for almost a year and today it can easily be hailed as a momumental decision for Pakistan. It is probably the first time an independent judiciary has flexed its muscles to show the people that justice will prevail over might.
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