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Posts tagged with: Nawaz Sharif

61 years and counting – Happy Independence Day PAKISTAN

I must begin with offering my felicitations to each and every Pakistani for the 61st Independence Day. May this upcoming year be fruitful for Pakistan, having suffered through a tumultuous political roller coaster in the past few months [and years], people stand today ready to abandon this nation for greener pastures of foreign lands, quite literally giving up hope.

But whatever will happen to the remaining 160 million strong Pakistanis [including me], for them we must each hope, pray and guide this nation forth towards progress and prosperity. This nation is too valuable to us [me] that I will never give up hope so quickly, we as Pakistanis must stand together shoulder to shoulder and try to rid our country from the unpatriotic elements that suck the life out of Pakistan. It is for the sake of Pakistan that we must hold strong.
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Pervaiz Elahi audio tape

The latest twist to the political chaos where Ahsan Iqbal shares an audio recording of conversation of Ch. Pervaiz Elahi who seems to be talking to a contact about a plot to manipulate the judges in rejecting the bye-election papers of Nawaz Shairf and Shahbaz Sharif. My reaction to all this is that it appears to be simply a mudslinging festival. Each trying his level best to disgrace the other party.


The Establishment’s B team: the PPP

By Samad Khurram and Aqil Sajjad

PPP sympathisers complain about the mysterious “Establishment” and their alleged role in destroying democracy in Pakistan for decades now. The Establishment, as defined by them, is a collection of dark, mystifying hands that apparently have many vested interests in upholding the status quo. This inexplicable group comprises rich army officers, the intelligence agencies and foreign hands who scheme together for their own economic and geo-strategic interests. To support this argument, examples of the Mullah-Military Alliance from the 1980s are repeated. The Establishment supposedly destroys institutions, murders politicians, blackmails judges and leaders, and sustains the Military Inc.

One major threat to the Establishment’s hold would be an independent judiciary – a judiciary that will not bow down to pressure, sticks or carrots. Historically, many verdicts of our courts were not independent but extorted by threats and intimidation. Judges had regularly fallen victim to blackmail and “sex tapes” and received dictations from the Establishment. Judges who were bold enough not to obey the whims of the Establishment were conveniently removed.

Things changed considerably when Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took charge and reoriented the judiciary’s direction in favour of the people. He was becoming increasingly independent and was beginning to check the excesses of the establishment. Among the most noted examples in this regard were the attempted loot privatisation of the Steel Mills well below their real worth and the case of the missing people illegally abducted and detained by the intelligence agencies.

As he became a growing threat to the Establishment, Iftikhar Chaudhry was summoned to General Musharraf’s camp office in the presence of serving military officers and the infamous Brig (r) Ejaz Shah on March 9, 2007. When he refused to resign, the nation stood up in his defence. This was unprecedented in the history of Pakistan and soon Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry became a national hero, arguably the most popular Pakistani alive today.

After his reinstatement with the support of lawyers, students and civil society the judiciary was able to exercise its powers with increasing independence. Naturally, the Establishment could not allow such a judiciary to flourish, as their dirty games could now be brought to justice before an independent tribunal.
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Statement by Peoples Resistance on Restoration of Judiciary

pr-logo-option-02-1.jpgKARACHI (May 5th): We, the citizens of Pakistan, welcome PPP’s and PML-N’s new promise to restore deposed judges by 12th May 2008. We hope that, this time round, the promise shall be kept.

At the same time, we condemn the proposal to retain the ‘judges’ appointed by General (R) Pervez Musharraf after 3 November 2007. These ‘judges’ happily accepted judicial appointments in place of those courageous souls who refused to bow down before a dictator and take oath under the PCO. These freshly appointed ‘judges’ were willing accomplices in Musharraf’s scheme to subvert the Constitution and destroy judicial independence and went out of their way to endorse his actions. By doing so, they betrayed the legal and judicial fraternity and the nation as a whole.

If political parties protect the appointments of such ‘judges’, they will be sending out a loud and clear message to future judges: if you dare to resist a dictator, you shall be unceremoniously removed and face months of illegal detention. On the other hand, if you endorse the dictator’s actions by taking oath under his PCO, not only will you enjoy judicial office during the dictator’s reign but any incoming democratic dispensation will go out of its way to protect you.
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Restitution of judges: A case for constitutional survival

Huzaima Bukhari & Dr. Ikramul Haq
Huzaima & Ikram

After lapse of mutually-agreed and self-imposed condition of 30 days on April 30, 2008 for the restitution of judges announced in Bhurban on March 9, 2008, a new deadline of May 12, 2008 has been announced by Mian Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on May 2, 2008. This delay once again proved the lack of political commitment on the part of majority party. Their leadership may have many pretexts, valid or invalid, for not following the deadline or deviating from the original declaration promising the restoration of status quo ante of November 2, 2007 without any conditionality.

The long-drawn parleys between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari for implementation of Murree Declaration of March 9, 2008 on restitution of judges has serious implication for determining whether 8-year-long dictatorial rule in Pakistan will end or not. The issue of restitution of judges (reinstatement is wrong notion as they are still judges) is in fact a question of great important vis-à-vis constitutional rule in Pakistan. In parleys between leaders of coalition partners in Karachi, Dubai and elsewhere, the issue reportedly was to devise a “correct legal methodology” to counter the strategy of Musharraf camp to block the move through a stay order from apex court. One wonder why the political forces are not uprooting the root-cause by impeaching the unconstitutionally-imposed President, rather than waiting for his purported further illegal actions.
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Dubai Talks seemingly successful

Nawaz Sharif has briefly announced from Dubai that the talks with Asif Ali Zardari have completed and leaders have finally agreed on the restoration of judiciary according to the Murree Declaration, formal and full announcement will be made in Lahore tomorrow

Now one must wonder what compromises were made to reach this understanding since the Murree declaration was already a finalized draft. One can easily speculate that the delay in making the full announcement with the details is to give a little time for Zardari to share the results with Musharraf and his US allies and bring them on board to the final decision

I suspect that the judiciary will be restored but will be seriously impaired restricting their scope of functionality, cases like NRO, Musharraf and the Nov 3rd Martial law will be off-limits while the United States would ensure that the Missing Persons Case is not reopened by the reinstated judiciary.

At times I wonder if its worthwhile to open any old cases and issues, it might not be, as for the sake of our nation its time to look forward and not backwards. I may truly be ready if the judiciary was reinstate with full independence to tackle any issues facing Pakistan in the future with no political interference whatsoever. Enough of speculations and gutt feelings, let await the formal announcement on about 24 hours

Review of the Political Situation at the Dawn of a New Year

With Sunday’s decision by the Pakistan People’s Party to contest the elections, it instantly threw the PML-Q and the ruling elite into a frenzy, the PML-Q had predicted this move and a day before had announced a complete stoppage of their election camping taking the excuse of deteriorating unrest in the country following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

PML-Q had the perfect plan the entire elections were rigged to ensure a clear majority but the events on the 27th December would exude a definite wave of sympathy for the PPP enough to place them closer to a ruling majority. The election commission met today morning behind closed doors to make a decision but at the conclusion they had a decision but delayed the announcement for one more day. This in itself should expose the ‘independence‘ of the election commission which was being trumpeted as the upholder of free and fair election. Sadly it goes to prove that its nothing less then a nurtured organization installed to rig the upcoming elections for those toeing a Pro-Musharraf sentiment namely PML-Q, JUI-F & MQM. Free and Fair how truly breathtaking

A the start of a New Year I think its a good time to do a party-by-party analysis of the present political situation, it must be noted that things are changing dramatically in Pakistan on a moment to moment basis but on the morning of Jan 1st 2008 my understanding of the overall scenario is. But sadly in my analysis there are just one too many conspiracies going on to mean us any good
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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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English Transcript of the PPP press conference

Some brilliant work done by Dr. Farrukh Malik on his blog Silence where he has meticulously transcribed the entire PPP press conference held at Naudero, Larkana for us in English. A few sections I choose to quote here, while the entire version can be found on his blog.

Makhdoom Ameen Fahim

After the rituals of Soyem of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, we happened to convene the meeting of Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). We set together and in that meeting the will of Mohtarma was read to us by Mr. Bilawal and in that will Mohtarma wrote that if in case I am no more, Asif Ali Zardari will be the Chairman of the party, the CEC endorsed it but Asif Ali Zardari said that he want to give this responsibility to his son, this was also endorsed by the house and he was elected as the chairman of the party according to the will of Mohtarma and we endorsed it happily. Now I will request Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to speak with you himself.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

I am thankful to the CEC for posing the trust in me as the chairman of PPP, like all chairmen of PPP, I will stand as symbol of federation, the partys long historic struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigor and I stand committed to the stability of the federation. My mother always said, “Democracy is the best revenge
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PPP contemplating on Contesting the Elections

Its been buzzing around the country that PPP might actually proceed to contest the elections on Jan 8th. A very high level meeting of the PPP is scheduled to be held today where this issue will be hotly debated after they come to a decsion of who will be the new party chairperson, in the wake of the assassination of the Life Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The candidates is the running are Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who in all probability will come out as the new leader, but it is rumored that Asif Ali Zardari might also be in contention (!!). The logic of PPP leadership for fighting the elections is simple, they want to harness the wave of sympathy that has spread throughout the country and feel it might actually land them a land slide victory into the parliament.

One must not forget that these elections are only meant to legitimize the rule of Pervaiz Musharraf who has used the terrorism issue to his own advantage since long, the elections are already a farce b any standard being organized by an illegal President with a self-appointed election commissioner and a lapdog judiciary toeing his every command. Unless these elections can be fully free and fair held under an independent judicial body it can be simply considered as a monkey circus to appease the powerful – I would strongly urge parties to boycott them.

The funny part in this boycott no boycott frenzy is that Nawaz Sharif yesterday was emotionally drawn into sympatising with the PPP workers and quickly decided to announce his parties boycott from the scam elections – which this blogger fully hailed as a great move, little did Nawaz Sharif know that the very next day PPP would pull a fast one on him and swing around to actually fight the elections. Leaving him hanging in a catch-22 situation all over again. The question remains to be seen if Ganja might actually think about reversing his decision and play second fiddle to the decisions coming out of PPP or will he have the balls to fight against this illegitimate election scam. We must remember that with BB’s death it may only charge up the atmosphere leading up to the elections but everything else pertaining to the elections remain the same – and pre-poll rigging remains in full swing.

Condoleezza Rice calls Zardari to request for Elections on 8th !!!

It was just reported on ARY One World that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called up Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto requesting him permission to let the January 8th elections to go on as planned.

I am not sure whats the agenda in all this but I suspect some serious foul play afoot to which the American bureaucracy is a full part of all this.

I personally have never believed in Benazir and my blog is brimming full of my stand against her, but at this sensitive time I too feel grief stricken to have lost a great leader in Pakistan. I would have preferred to argue and debate, but never will I wish any opponent a horrific death like this, it is simply inhumane. But when such a tragedy happens its important to be considerate of human sensitivities and let the wounds heal. Holding the elections so close to her death will mean deliberately plunging the country into chaos. As I have been repeating over and over again I hope good wisdom prevails. I feel the player deeply involved in ensuring that the election must go on time are Musharraf, PML-Q and MQM.

I now urge all Pakistanis to step up their efforts to urge the world to stop these elections as I dread, this may contribute to total annihilation of Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif pulls out of the Elections, while PML-Q, MQM & JUI – Silent

After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the nation plunged into a confusing shock. Many loved this leader, while quite a few despised her since she was ruthlessly famous for her underhanded tricks which she used to manipulate her way around the political hurdles for the sake another chance on the throne of power. Its interesting to note that with the sudden death of a person how quickly has the love hate relationship changes to be more of sympathy for the departed soul.

Her arch rival Nawaz Sharif quickly rushed to the hospital in Rawalpindi to show his support and immediately announced his parties withdrawal from the elections. The bottom line, according to me, was that PML-N should have in the first place boycotted the elections but even then I am ready to give him credit to have taken the initiative and become the first few to turn up the heat on Musharraf who surprisingly being aware of the sensitivities of this tragic loss choose to come on live television, announced a a three day country wide morning but did not say a word about the elections.

What is really interesting, is to sit an observe a pin=drop hushed silence from MQM, PML-Q, and JUI – all prime pedigree lapdogs of Pervez Musharraf who dare not even sneeze without the expressive and written permission from the Retired President-General himself. Are all these too faithful to their masters, lets keep a careful watch on all these King’s parties aka election favorites and hope that wisdom prevails

Nawaz Sharif meets Muneer Malik’s daughter in Karachi

On 24th December Nawaz Sharif made a courtesy call to the residence of Mr. Muneer Malik and a few pictures attached here meeting with Shehere Zade Malik, the daughter of Muneer Malik

Final Testimony to the US House Committee on Pakistani elections

Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Pakistani elections: Will they be fair and free or fundamentally flawed?

20 December 2007
Washington, DC

International Crisis Group LogoI want to express once again the appreciation of the International Crisis Group for the continuing attention of the Committee and particularly Chairman John Tierney and the other members of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to U.S. relations with Pakistan and the performance of that government concerning democracy, Islamic extremism and terrorism.

This hearing asks whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will be fair and free or fundamentally flawed. That question has to be asked now. Election Day will be too late.

The sad answer today is that Pakistans parliamentary elections will be fatally flawed unless political, electoral and legal conditions are rapidly improved. Today, conditions
to permit a fair and free election do not exist. It is December 20th- martial law was lifted five days ago and the election will be held in only eighteen days.

Election Day is the final act of a democratic drama. Act one requires objective and non-partisan rules and standards adopted and monitored by neutral authorities. Act two demands that parties are permitted to select their own candidates, candidates allowed to campaign without hindrance or intimidation, and a free press given unfettered opportunity to challenge, question, and report on candidates, parties and public issues including the illegality of emergency rule and the actions of President Musharraf and Pakistan security forces.
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Iftikhar, Aitzaz to sue Musharraf for Rs 2 Billion

Posted on the Proud-Pakistan mailing list, reference to a news report which appeared in The Nation on 21st December 2007

Deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan are suing President Pervez Musharraf to claim damages worth two billion rupees through a defamation suit.

Talking to The Nation on Thursday, Aitzaz made his intentions known when asked to comment on a statement of President Musharraf in which he charged former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Aitzaz Ahsan, senior deposed judge Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday and PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif for hatching a conspiracy to throw him out of the presidency. “A time has come when he will see a controversy behind every curtain, said Barrister Aitzaz while playing down the allegations levelled by President Musharraf. “We are consulting our lawyers and will soon file a defamation suit of two billion rupees against Musharraf for leveling false allegation and bringing our name into disrepute without any substantial evidence, said Aitzaz, who was released earlier in the morning for three days.
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