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Posts tagged with: USA

Hina Jilani tells America – Elections Pre-Rigged, No Monitoring Needed

AFP Reports on the statements made by Hina Jilani, the special representative of the UN secretary general on human rights defenders – OTHER RELATED REPORTS – BBC, International Herald Tribune & School of Law at University of Pittsburgh

Hina JilaniA UN human rights envoy on Thursday told US lawmakers not to send any delegation to monitor the upcoming election in Pakistan, claiming that it was already rigged by President Pervez Musharraf. “There is no point in monitoring the elections or watching the poll — the rigging has already happened,” said Hina Jilani, a prominent Pakistani attorney who is also the UN special envoy for human rights defenders. She made the remarks after lawmakers at a Congressional hearing on the political crisis in Pakistan sought her opinion on the prospect of monitoring the January 8 polls to elect a new parliament.

Jilani, co-founder of the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, charged that Musharraf, who was expected to lift a five-week-old state of emergency on Saturday, had already destroyed institutions such as the judiciary and the press. Fearing that the Supreme Court would disqualify him from running for re-election, Musharraf sacked and detained independent-minded judges and lawyers leaders who refused to accept his imposition of emergency rule. “Freedom of assembly is totally curtailed, freedom of expression is curtailed,” Jilani said.
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The NAB Diaries – Part One

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

My name is Amer Nazir. I live in exile in London. It is a forced exile. I left Pakistan as soon as NAB took my name off the Exit Control List after a period of three years. If I had not left, probably I would have also disappeared forever like my best friend Ahmed Shujaudin a leading architect.

God willing and the Teeth Maestro permitting, I intend to write about my journey from a modest middle-class background to one of the top IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan before I fell to the extent that I became homeless. Once a familiar face in the so-called corporate social circles in Karachi it came to a point where no one was willing to take my phone call after all, I was a NAB accused. I was never to be convicted but it did not matter. The logic was straight forward. If Shuja had been kidnapped then surely Shuja must have done something terrible to cause it or else at least deserve it…

The scope of these four narrations hopefully to be published during the next four weeks is to narrate a very brief account of my business journey, my labour of love, after a briefest possible introduction of myself, the major space will be given to my NAB experience, the actual inside account, and the behaviour and the attitude of our kings of the castle.
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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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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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Election Plan in Jeopardy – A Discussion

I am copying an email from discussion on the Mailing List Proud-Pakistani. Though I must agree that it may all boil down to be pure speculation but it does contain some interesting points worth pondering over

I’ve [the author of the email discussion] been trying to make head or tail out of the present election scenario and here’s some thoughts;

  1. 90% chances that elections would be delayed and PML (Q) is the only party other than MQM that knows the plan. If you notice that Chaudry’s have not held a single rally/jalsa since Shareef’s return and have been reduced to a drawing room party? Very unlike Chaudry’s not to compete with Nawaz Shareef in showing their strength in Punjab (where image is everything and people follow trend)? Money can bring crowds (different subject if they would vote for you…) and Chaudry’s have no shortage of that and are famous for being generous.

    BB might already have sensed it… Her schedule for election campaign has her booked in Sindh till Dec 31? That means no campaign in Punjab as it only leaves her with 6 days for Punjab….? I spoke to a PPP NA ticket holder and he said that we are lost at BB’s strategy (leaving for Dubai for her children when we need her here…) and because of her actions the ticket holders feel that something is up and elections would not be held.. Sidelining Punjab for a national party with interest in PMship is almost giving up on elections!

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This is the Time For Lawyers to Speak – Naomi Wolf

Appeared on The Huffington Post

We have all seen over the past couple of months pictures of brave lawyers in Pakistan risking their careers and even their own health and safety to stand up for their nation’s constitution. At the same time, we are witnessing at home a similar – if not quite as acute – assault on our own Constitution by the Bush administration. Yet we have not seen a coordinated movement of lawyers in defense of the Constitution in this country.

It seems like this is about to change. The American Freedom Campaign, in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Alliance for Justice, has launched a campaign called “American Lawyers Defending the Constitution” (ALDC). Conceptualized just last month, the campaign has already brought together scores of law professors and other prominent lawyers, including Governor Cuomo.

Overall, more than 700 lawyers and law students have signed on to the campaign’s first project – a sign-on statement to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, calling for hearings to investigate unconstitutional and potentially criminal activities by the Bush administration.
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Benazir – Why the world needs democracy in Pakistan

An Op-ed by Benazir Bhutto printed in Christian Science Monitor today, what one must note that Benazir has ranted about everything but the Judiciary, I share this piece here only to expose the hypocrisy of our so called leaders who hail themselves as the upholders of Democracy in Pakistan

By Benazir Bhutto
Benzair BhuttoDictatorship fuels extremism, which reaches far beyond Pakistan

The world has rightly welcomed President Pervez Musharraf’s retirement as Army head and announcement that emergency rule will end on Dec. 16. However, a crucial question remains. Is Pakistan heading toward a democratic future? Parliamentary elections are currently scheduled for Jan. 8. Among many worrying signs of corruption, the election commission is biased and not acting on complaints of fraud.

Yet if credible elections are not held, it will have dangerous consequences for Pakistan and the rest of the world community: Extremism will continue to grow, putting everyone at risk. The world must act to prevent this. It must insist on free and fair elections in Pakistan.
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Pakistan asks Diplomats not to comment on Domestic Politics

It has just been reported on Dawn News that the Government of Pakistan has asked foreign diplomats stationed here not to publicly comment on the domestic political situation, officials said Sunday. The advice came after ambassadors of the United States and European Union member countries last week held a series of talks with Pakistani opposition leaders and gave on-spot television interviews after the meetings. “We have no objection to their meeting with anyone, but diplomats should not make public comments after such meetings, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told AFP. “We expect them to follow the standard behavior and diplomatic etiquette, Sadiq said. He added that it was general advice and whenever there is a violation diplomats are summoned and told not to interfere.

Is this some form of a PCO on the foreign diplomats living in Pakistan

VOA Interviews People’s Resistance during Muneer Malik’s Vigil

VOA LogoVoice of America host Murtaza Solangi covers the People’s Resistance vigil when they were stationed outside the SIUT for the support of Muneer Malik on 8th December. Following the interview VOA does a report on the Codepink activists Meda and Tighe when they returned back to the US after being deported from Pakistan

Hear it all here [audio:urdu1500aFRI.mp3]

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 emergency upends Pakistan’s courts

By Nafisa Hoodbhoy, McClatchy Newspapers

A month after President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan , the country’s once-independent judiciary is in disarray and still under attack, making it unlikely that America’s closest ally in the war on terrorism will have a functioning democracy anytime soon. Police lines surround the principal courts, unfit judges are taking over the judicial apparatus and the enormous number of lawyers on hunger strikes has slowed the wheels of justice.

When Musharraf handed down his “Provisional Constitutional Order” on Nov. 3 , the federal Supreme Court was about to declare unconstitutional his plan to run for another term as president while remaining the army’s chief of staff. Musharraf said he couldn’t find a solution within the Pakistani Constitution, so he took “extraconstitutional measures,” with the judiciary a prime target. “Some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions,” he said in the order. Even though he’s given up his post of army chief of staff, donned civilian clothes and promised to end the stat of emergency by Dec. 16, Musharraf has said he won’t reverse his takeover of the judiciary.

He put Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, under house arrest and demanded that all other judges swear under his order that they don’t have the power “to make any order against the president or the prime minister.”
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Coalition of Concerned Citizens – A successful day on Capitol Hill

Press Release issued by Coalition of Concerned Citizens

An impressive number of Members of U.S. Congress and a Senator addressed a large gathering of Concerned Citizens to show their support for the restoration of pre-November 3 independent Pakistani Judiciary. In addition to the U.S. lawmakers, the representatives of Amnesty International, and International Crisis Group also spoke to a huge gathering. The large audience of Concerned Citizens included professionals, lawyers, physicians, and businessmen.

In her speech, Senator Claire Mccaskell from Missouri showed strong desire to restore the Pakistani judiciary. Senator Mccaskell showed her desire to make the U.S. Military aid to Pakistan contingent to “the rule of law. She strongly advised the Musharraf Government to restore the judiciary, or face the military sanctions. The Senator warned, “If the judiciary is not restored, Pakistan should face the threat of military sanctions.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren from the California accused the Musharraf Government of misusing the American Military Aid against his political opponents. She explained, “Pervez Musharraf’s government is using America’s military aid against political opponents rather than terrorists. She criticized the Musharraf Government for the abusive treatment of attorneys. She called, “The treatment of attorneys, such as Munir Malik, is outrageous.
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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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Musharraf’s Economic Deception – Part 1

Guest Post by Dr. Tariq Naeem

General Musharraf took over the reigns of power in 1999 from Nawaz Sharif with the Pakistan economy on the verge of bankruptcy. So desperate was the situation Nawaz Sharif toured the world visiting Pakistanis with a begging bowl requesting them to invest in Pakistan due to the sanctions imposed on Pakistan for carrying out nuclear tests. Incoherent, short-term policies had resulted in a minority of people benefiting immensely, who incidentally were directly linked to the Sharif family.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have consistently praised the Musharraf government for solid macroeconomic recovery and saving the Pakistan economy from the brink of economic collapse. They cite the $128bn generated under his tenure. Many commentators are eager to explain that the Musharraf government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since taking over the economy in 1999. The argument of the few Musharraf loyalists being that he has brought a degree of stability to Pakistan that the country never knew under civilian rule.

Part 1 of this two part series will assess this claim and analyse the current state of Pakistan’s economy which shows it is in a far more precarious position:
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