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Posts tagged with: Nawaz Sharif

Weakening Pakistan – NYTimes Editorial

An editorial published on the New York Times website about Pakistan – [link]

Pakistans president, Pervez Musharraf, insists his outrageous power grabs are aimed at stabilizing and protecting his country. His authoritarian maneuvers only weaken the countrys already feeble political institutions and fuel more political turmoil.

Turmoil is not what anyone needs in a country that is both armed with nuclear weapons and supposedly helping lead the fight against Al Qaeda. On Friday, dozens of people were killed in a bombing, apparently aimed at one of Mr. Musharrafs political allies.

Mr. Musharrafs decision to end six weeks of martial law was long overdue, as was his decision last month to finally quit his army post and take the presidential oath of office as a civilian. Any hope that he was nudging the country toward a genuine democracy was quashed when he also moved to exempt his own most controversial actions from any court challenges. That means his highly questionable election to a new five-year term will stand, as will his dismissal of 13 Supreme Court judges and more than 40 High Court judges.

Mr. Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup, so his rule lacks legitimacy no matter how he manipulates the countrys legal underpinnings. But instead of trying to strengthen Pakistans institutions, he is continuing to undermine them for his own power and profit. Meanwhile, Pakistans citizens leave no doubt that theyre sick of the former general. A poll this month by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (affiliated with the Republican Party) found that 67 percent of Pakistanis want Mr. Musharraf to resign immediately.
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Musharraf continues his rant ‘Former CJ was corrupt’

An article written by Javed Siddique in The Nation titled Former CJ was corrupt gives an interesting insight into how Musharraf believed that an elaborate conspiracy was being hatched to unseat him from the throne of the President of Pakistan. At first I wanted to leave the full contents of the article intact without any editing, but the more I read it, I get the urge to comment on each specific issue as my own rebuttal to all this hogwash. The rebuttal is being clearly demarcated in [italic parenthesis]

Article orginally written for The Nation by Javed Siddique titled Former CJ was corrupt

President Pervez Musharraf has said that besides former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Nawaz Sharif were involved in the conspiracy to block his way to become a constitutionally elected President. He said this while addressing the 18th Annual Banquet of the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAK-PAC) and its Board of Directors here [Islamabad] at a local hotel on Wednesday. President Musharraf claimed that Justice (R) Ramday and Aitzaz Ahsan held meeting in Geneva. “Today I want to disclose as to what conspiracy was being hatched to sidetrack democracy. [Hallelujah, pray tell us *looking onwards with a twinkle in the eyes anticipating for some juicy gossip*] He alleged that Justice (R) Ifthikhar was at the centre of this conspiracy. […geez is that all you got for us!!!]
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Jadoogar of Jeddah [aka Sharifuddin Pirzada], Dirty Business all Over Again

The New York Times just recently published an article titled ‘On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path’ which looks into depth at the involvement of Mr. Sharifuddin Pirzada in helping General (retired) Prevaiz Musharraf in blatantly uprooting the constitution and enforcing a state of Emergency on November 3rd. This aged lawyer at 84 has been at the heart of quite a large number of political upheavals in Pakistan that one tends to get numbed with the thought as to how devilish this guy could actually get masterminding the the raping of the same constitution which he at one time upheld. It is no surprise that this counsel is oft referred to as the Jadoogar of Jeddah (The Magician if Jeddah) too many hidden skeletons that one cant even begin to start. Until this read his latest concoction served to the people of Pakistan

On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path
By Jane Perlez Published at The New York Times

At 84, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, mysterious, influential and scorned by Pakistans protesters, fixes things when military rulers take over here, scripting temporary charters and new oaths of office as constitutions are shredded and judges dismissed. Mr. Pirzada is the lawyer for President Pervez Musharraf, who turned to him when he decided he would get rid of a Supreme Court that was threatening to derail his re-election for a second term. By Mr. Pirzadas account, delivered as he sat on a brocade-covered couch in his living room, he met with Mr. Musharraf and his cabinet on Nov. 2, the day before martial law was imposed.
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Questions for Musharraf and Bush – By Aitzaz Ahsan

Article published in The Washington Post
By John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan

One of us chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee tasked with oversight of U.S. foreign policy, and one of us languishes under house arrest after transfer from a Pakistani jail for the “heinous” and “seditious” crime of representing, in legal proceedings, the sacked chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

As members of the political opposition in our respective countries and as lawyers firmly committed to the rule of law, we have a few questions for our heads of state:

How will you address the increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan in light of the growing, and not unjustified, perception among Pakistan’s democratic moderates that the United States is not willing to stand with the people of Pakistan against an increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic government in Islamabad?
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Musharraf’s covert Propaganda Being Handled By Self-Proclaimed Master of Deception, Ahmed Quraishi

Author of “Thesis” that US is Plotting Against Musharraf May Actually be an Intelligence-Connected Propaganda Consultant; Says on His Own Website that he Creates “Immaculate DeceptionTailored to Your Senses”

By Farid Alvie

Ahmed Quraishi’s ”enlightening” articles have been doing the rounds on the net of late. One can only describe him as Pakistan’s very own Bill O’ Reilly (with just as much credibility!). And like O’ Reilly, his most used weapon of choice is the tag of ‘traitor’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for anyone who criticizes the government (or perhaps just el presidente, the now retired generalissimo), be they politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics, human rights activists, former army officers et al. It seems Mr. Quraishi gets his inspiration (along with his fake American accent) from Fox News.

Even a cursory look at his website might help one understand Mr. Quraishi’s “unbiased, journalistic, analytical, and professional” approach to issues he so passionately addresses in his articles. Mr. Quraishi’s website is studded with countless gems that reflect the luminosity of his brilliance, breadth of vision, and intellectual maturity.
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International Public Opinion Polls – Pro-Musharraf Propaganda EXPOSED

International Public Opinion Polls (IPOP) has recently appeared onto the scene in the recent few months when they published the results of a survey conducted by this agency during the pre-Emergency period of August 15th to September 20th which showed General Pervaiz Musharraf leading the political pack with 42% while Begum Bhutto trailed at 32% and Nawaz Sharif fared only at a lame 26%. In a follow up survey a month later after Musharraf shed his uniform IPOP has come to record that of the 1000+ people surveyed in Pakistan approved the civilian President Musharraf by a whopping 74%

Generally numbers and figures don’t catch the eye unless one notices a startling discrepancy between a few survey. It has been on record that the International Republican Institute, a world renowned organization carried out a five-part survey over the past year which continued to show a decline in Musharraf’s popularity from a massive 65% in Sept 06 which took a nose dive over the 2007 year to land at a measly 22%. Comparing both IPOP and IRI surveys one does instantly notice 20% difference. In the popularity graph when comparing various leaders in Pakistan the survey showed that Nawaz Shairf poised at 53% popularity, Benazir Bhutto at 36% and Musharraf and Imran Khan at 22% and 21% respectively.
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Aitzaz Ahsan Boycotts Elections

Free Aitzaz AhsanToday 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.
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The People – not just Civil Society – must Unite against the Common Enemies

An Interesting article posted on the Emergency Times Mailing list

By Yousuf NazarState of Pakistan>

There comes a time in a Nations history that the people must take charge of their own destiny. The issue now is not: boycott or participate in the elections. People want a just society, the Pakistani nation wants true democracy, and country needs its sovereignty back. None of the major players, the Establishment, Benazir or Nawaz Sharif or the Mullah-Military alliance can restore justice, democracy or sovereignty to Pakistan. The people and the people alone would have to fight this War for Pakistans Azadi. Let America and its puppets fight the so-called War on Terror.

We have been having elections since 1985 after Zia-ul-Haq imposed martial law in 1977 but virtually nothing has changed. It is even more ironic when some major newspapers publish meaningless and superficial articles with headings like “Let the people decide as if American intervention and Army do not exist. The business of the state and politics has become a mafia enterprise with the usual mix of big money interests and crime. This criminal enterprise has the active support of the Americans who find it convenient to use a corrupt instrument that a military dictatorship is. Either in its pure form or in a diluted form, that is, in a coalition with come corrupt politicians. Many developing countries have passed through this phase. But the will of the people ultimately triumphs. So we must not despair.
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Open letter to BB: Why I left PPP

A lengthy but interesting letter shared on the Emergency Time Mailing List, worth reading to understand the frustrations faced by a PPP supporter

Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Assalam alaikum.

After resigning from the basic membership of the Pakistan Peoples Party on 27 Nov, 2007, I am writing this letter to you elaborating my views, as a common Pakistani, on some burning issues confronting Pakistan today and how these issues, in my opinion, need your attention as a national political leader. Keeping my past association with the PPP, and with you, I assumed that I do have the privilege to write this letter, irrespective of how variant my views maybe with the current stance/political posture of the PPP.

This letter will also be sent to all those who received my email addressed to you when I tendered my resignation on 27 Nov, 2007. Thus, this letter is an open letter which I am constrained to write because of the numerous emails and phone calls that I received in response to my resignation from the basic membership of the PPP. All those Emails and phone calls urged me to state the reasons that forced me to resign from the PPP. Every one of them said that as Pakistanis they had a right to know, especially so, in the given political crisis prevalent in the country. Respecting their viewpoint I had to make this letter an open letter.
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A Lawyers Ordeal

(Munir A Malik narrates a chilling account of his imprisonment and near-fatal illness caused by negligence)
By Beena Sarwar

Tortured & Terrorized but Not Silenced“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.”
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Why Boycott is not an Option?

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?
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This, that and the other – Ardeshir Cowasjee

A very interesting article written by Ardeshir Cowasjee printed in Dawn 9th Dec

Having written a column for this week, but having no desire to be carted off to jail or to suffer any physical inconvenience not being a street fighter and, besides, not having too much time left to me I consulted my lawyer and asked him to vet it.

He is young, wrinkled with pragmatic wisdom. His advice: Scrap it! You have no rights at present. You can be picked up by the dreaded men of the agencies, you can be harassed, even tortured, and surely jailed. To so do, they can take you into custody from anywhere your house, your club, a friends house, your park handcuff you, tie you up, put you into solitary confinement, starve you in other words, enlightened moderation. We, your lawyers, will have to fight like King Leonidas against the Persians at the Pass of Thermopylae attempting to stave off enlightened moderation. It is far better to sit at home, stay away from your PC, and enjoy the company of friends in this fair weather.

Then I asked whether my animals were safe my dogs, my cat, my cockatoo. I was told that as they are my property they cannot be arrested but they can be killed. In fact, they have more rights than I do. At least they cannot be picked up. But, and a big but, who will hear you if you are caught?
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Pakistans Rich List of 2008

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.
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Musharraf’s teams Mis-statements at Asia Society

A detailed rebuttal to Musharraf PR Teams Mis-statements at Asia Society Meeting in New York on Friday Nov 30, 2007 which ‘mis’represented by Nasim Ashraf, Kashmala Tariq and Barrister Ali Saif

My views before the event and after the event were all concentrated on the fact that this was sadly a pro-musharraf deal and Asia Society should have done better to widen the platform to actually see a proper debate. It must be noted that on Nov 8th Asia Society did conduct an Open Town Hall Meeting which seemed a little more balanced quite contrary to the 30th Nov event

The entire recording can be heard here [audio:113007pakistan.mp3]

Background: An Emergency was declared in Pakistan on November 3, 2007 by General Musharraf as Chief of the Army Staff and on the same day a “Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) was issued by him as President of Pakistan. Pakistans 1973 Constitution only allows the President of Pakistan to declare Emergency. It does not give any authority to the Chief of the Army Staff to declare Emergency. This illegality was acknowledged by General Musharraf in an interview with BBC News on Nov 16th (BBC). He specifically says, “Have I done anything unconstitutional and illegal? Yes, I did it on 3rd November. Under the PCO, President Musharraf suspended Pakistans 1973 Constitution depriving the people of Pakistan of their fundamental rights and preventing the actions of his government to be challenged in the Courts.
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First Things First : Muneer Malik Op-Ed in Dawn

Op-ed article published in Dawn, 6th December 2007 by Muneer A Malik, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association who is currently hospitalised following renal failure during his detention in Attock jail

It was heartening to see Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif finally sitting together. The formation of a joint ARD-APDM committee is a positive step. The committee is to agree on a minimum charter of demands that must be fulfilled before the opposition parties participate in the elections.

Naturally, the primary agenda of the opposition parties is to ensure an atmosphere where free and fair elections are possible. But such elections are impossible without the restoration of the superior judiciary to the status quo prevailing on Nov 2. There can be no transition to democracy without an independent judiciary.

Consider this. The Election Commission of Pakistan (EC) is responsible for the overall organisation and conduct of elections. It comprises a retired Supreme Court and one serving High Court judge from each province. The actual nomination and polling process is supervised by District Returning Officers (DROs), Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs). Serving district judges, additional district judges and civil judges perform the duties of the DROs, ROs and AROs respectively. The Chief Justices of the provincial High Courts have administrative control over the subordinate judiciary. They control their appointments, transfers and promotions.
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