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.
With Musharraf’s last Presidential address barely an hour ago there is a definitely concern amongst many that it is welcome news to see the dictator stepping down but the news of safe passage to foreign lands is concerning as if Musharraf were to get up and walk away would in all likelihood mean that it opens the doors for future dictators to waltz in and ransack our country. An example needs to be set to ensure that such practices are not repeated ever again. I do not mean to extend and ask for capital punishment, but he must stand trial for his wrong doings [if any] and then allowed free passage if his hands are clean.
Guest post by Salahuddin Ahmed
Lets not live in cloud-cuckoo land.
Zardari asked for 30 days time to restore judges. It was given. He agreed with Nawaz for an extension of 12 days. We all waited in vain. Now we are expected to continue waiting for an indefinite period of time (no ulti ginti, please) to allow ‘democracy to flourish’ and his promises to bear fruit.
There is all this rubbish floated by PPP and pro-Musharraf elements around about the ‘complications’ involved in restoration of judges. 21 former judges of the Supreme Court (including 5 former Chief Justices) have publicly stated that all that is required is an executive order (with a parliamentary resolution for moral backing only – if politically necessary). As for the newly appointed incumbents, the former judges stated that they have no legal right to remain in office but their appointments can be regularised (purely for humanitarian considerations) by real Chief Justice in accordance with the Al-Jehad case. Apart from 3 or 4 (like Fakhruddin and Wajihuddin) none of these former judges were even involved in the lawyers’ movement and are completely apolitical. I take their word over PPP politician-semi lawyers like Latif Khosa, Farooq Naek, Babar Awan and Musharraf-cronies like Hafeez Pirzada and Malik Qayyum.
The most common argument that I get asked day in and day out, is “Judicial issue is diverting the governments attention from the core issue of the economical crisis”, in response I have endlessly argued against the rhetoric, since I have long since believed that the economical problem though valid and very important is more of a transient issue, and a fall-out from the mis-adventures of the old administration (read Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz & Q-League).
Economic stability needs time and a genuine commitment from the leading politicians to solve, only possible with a sincere effort and the courage to look towards a better Pakistan rather then hunting for a juicy under the table wad of cash. Whilst an independent judiciary will play its due role to ensure justice is served to the people of Pakistan and the people are not forced taking matters into their own hands to exercise their own version of civil courts served mob-style on the streets.
The existence of an independent judiciary will more importantly keep our bureaucrats and politicians in check and act as a deterrent for them hopefully preventing them to make a quick buck, while the country goes to hell. Aqil Sajjad has done well in trying to explain the argument in his article which was published in the The News this Saturday
This evening in yet another embarrassing move, a rowdy crowd physically assaulted Ex-Minister Sher afghan in Lahore. Though the blame is being placed on the Lawyers (MQM desperately wants to pin the blame on Lawyers and Civil Society) but it is apparent that the rowdy crowd dressed in plains clothes (not lawyers) thrashed Sher Afghan.
I fully condemn this incident and would at the same time to send strong words to the media spin-masters of PPP and MQM to not twist the blame around. A desperate attempt is being made to accuse the lawyers and civil society for this incident but if you have a look at the video the attach was initiated by a man dressed in plain brown shalwar kameez while throughout the approach to the waiting ambulance we witnessed people dressed in plain clothes attacking Sher afghan while lawyers tried desperately to prevent the attack. While Sherry Rehman the Minister of Information has initiated an inquiry. Little good will that do when the culprits belong within the ruling party, a prime example is yesterdays incident when Arbab Ghulam Rahim was beaten amongst a crowd of Jiya Bhutto chanting crowd and the spin masters have orchestrated the accused as being a hired servant of Arbab Ghulam Rahim himself
Today at the Sindh Assembly Arbab Ghulam Rahim gets a royal treatment with a shoe slapped across his forehead. It may seem funny for many, sweet revenge for others but all said as members of a democratic and sane society we must condemn this act as this is no way to treat an elected parliamentary member or for that matter any human being.
If you despise him, then try him for corruption, take him task for all his wrong doings heck take him to court and prove his underhanded dealings but more importantly use words but avoid any form of physical assault. I must condemn this act at all costs.
Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
Public have silently spoken through ballot putting added pressure on our political clan who always fall a prey to pragmatism and accept defeat before even the battle starts. Lawyers moved, bench stood up, media bore with the bashing honourably but only the clan of Q did not move and surrender to public demand and in the end they fell badly from their throne as pride hath a fall. Now public with sheer wisdom have given the task to the new parliament to sort out the mess the country is in rather than boycotting or bringing an orange revolution which is in true sense a silent revolution where opponent is defeated though still alive.
Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
What goes around, comes around was a phrase I heard in my childhood and the fate of our outgoing political machinery is pitiful as they are still conspiring, aspiring and dreaming of forming government by hook or crook despite the fact that air is against them, and they do not find any space in the ranks of opposition, and people of Q like a salt are diluting in the political waters of Pakistan as they have no roots in the masses on their own. They are a tribe which never go to jail and is always ready to switch sides at eleventh hour. Those who were claiming to elect a serving General ten times in uniform to the slot of president are biting their nails and the mandate is clear, in comes the chief justice and out goes the President.
Public have spoken once again, and they cheered loudly that its democracy they prefer. Once again mandate has been given to parties holding roots in the masses and we are once again at a crossroad yet again, to respect that mandate and save the integrity and sovereignty of the country or repeat our mistakes like 70s. We must learn from the mistakes of past when we lost Dhaka shamefully, we daringly are willing to repeat such mistakes. I have been depicting the core of our problems one of which is that we never nip the evil in the bud and we always try to move forward pragmatically without caring the fall outs on state. Hamood ur Rehman commission was quick to depict our weaknesses earlier in 70s and it tried to put our future straight but we withheld that report for decades which should have been part and parcel of our learning process. I would quote only few relevant paragraphs just to give a glimpse to show how familiar the scene was then, and even now, and I pose a question when will we learn.
Sheikh Rashid was the first one to flee Pakistan after being humiliated in these elections. He lost both his seats, one by a margin of about 46,000 and the other by a margin of 62,000 votes. In the last elections he was elected from both these seats. Public love for him can be seen in this video which I advise you watch at your own discretion.
Let’s see how many of the Q-Leaguers will flee the country and join Shaukat Aziz and how many will join the opposition.
Guest Blog by temporal who blogs at Baithak
The Pakistan elections are over and the people have spoken. But have they been heard?
It is after midnight Pakistan time and the results are trickling in. It appears from early results that PML (Q) the king’s party has received a massive defeat. And both opposition parties, the PML (N) and PPPP are surging ahead.
In the next day or two we will find out the total combined seats for PML (N) and PPPP. As of this moment they have 45 and 38 seats respectively for a total of 83.
Here is where the IF game comes into play.
Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are unlikely allies. Both the parties have been vindictive against each other and had initiated cases of corruption and abuse of power against the other when in power that are still pending before the courts.
The rigging observed today by many observers was not enough to hamper the voice of the people. While there is plenty of documented evidence of rigging by parties notably the Q-League and MQM this was not sufficient to save them from a crushing defeat at the hands of PML-N and PPP. Details of the rigging can be seen on:
You are also encouraged in the live blog that is being hosted right now at Chapati Mystery
A quick round up of the stance of the political parties with our stance for the restoration of the judiciary and removal of Musharraf:
Parties who have taken a public stance for the restoration of the Nov 3 judiciary
Parties who have “promised” to impeach Musharraf:
SAC member Ahmed Iqbal reports from Narowal that PML-Q leagues armed gang members ransack ten poling stations, staff being harassed and PML-N agents thrown out
SAC Lahore member Asif Mulick reports that supporters of Abdul Aleem offered him a Rs 2000 in cash to vote at Queen Mary polling station.