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Posts tagged with: USA

Update @ 2149: CodePink Activists arrested in Lahore

It is just being reported that Medea and Tighe, two US Human Rights activists who had come to Pakistan to stand up against these blatant human rights violation in Pakistan under the Martial Law have been arrested by the Punjab Police and are reportedly being held at Civil Lines. They’ve apparently also confiscated Khurram Khosa’s car, in which they were traveling.

They have at the moment many people working in their support from Lahore, as they made many friends during their brief stay there. We are also being told that the American Embassy is also assisting to orchestrate their release from captivity


CodePink – Vigil Outside a “Sub-Jail” in Lahore

CodePink activists were in Karachi for a few days and later headed off to the northern areas to take more part in the Anti-Martial law activities. Reaching Lahore they have already started making a ruckus and an article by Medea Benjamin on their visit to Aitzaz Ahsan’s house where he has been placed under house arrest

By Medea Benjamin

As soon as we arrived in Lahore, Pakistan on November 30, Tighe Barry and Iboth human rights activists from the United States–called the wife of the most prominent lawyer in Pakistan today, Aitzaz Ahsan. Ahsan is under house arrest, but his wife, Bushra, invited us to come by their office the following day.

The law office of Aitzaz Ahsan is connected to his home. When we arrived, the building was surrounded by 10 policemen. We entered the office and had a long chat with Bushra. She told us that her husband had been in jail for 21 days, and was then placed under house arrest. He was not allowed to leave the house, and visitors were not allowed in. I asked her if we could try. She smiled and escorted us to the door connecting the home and office.
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Radio Opensource Interviews Omer Alvie

Christopher Lydon of Radio Open Source has just interviewed Omer Alvie, a well known Pakistani blogger who blogs at The Olive Ream and a very passionate Pakistani like many of us. He has a knack of interspersing humor into his writings on his blog that one often wonders where does he come up with all this, this interview is nothing different when he says ‘….the hitlist should have the letter S in front of it’. Check out the interview on Radio Open Source or listen to it here

[audio:OmerAlvie.mp3]

A few excerpts from his interview
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Asia Society Discussion : Musharraf Government Makes Its Case

Asia Society LogoOn Nov 8 the Asia Society held a Town Hall meeting where discussed the Martial Law in Pakistan, it had a number of panelist from Asma Jahangir, Ayaz Amir to Najam Sethi, for a real thought provoking and interesting discussion, anyone who missed the show can listen to the entire recording online on Asia Society’s Pakistan Emergency page.

Today at 8:30am – 10:00am EST (6:30pm-8:00pm Pakistan Time) the Asia Society has scheduled yet another talk on Pakistan but sadly it only features only a pro-Musharraf panel. The team nominated by Pakistan to project the pro Musharraf message is as follows
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American Bar Association rallies alongside Pakistani Lawyers

American Bar Association LogoAs a Pakistani engulfed in this crisis it is really heartening to see the entire American Bar Association rallying to the support of the lawyers here in Pakistan, Thank you


How to Save Pakistan By Imran Khan

By Imran Khan

Make no mistake; Pakistan faces a grave threat from the creeping chaos, a by-product of the most shameful demonstration of power politics. There are many threats confronting our society. The threat of extremism is just one which is essentially a consequence of policies that serve foreign interests at the cost of the fundamental rights of our citizens. On 9/11, yes, we should have stood with the US when it was attacked by terrorists. But our cooperation should have been within the ambit of our constitution and law. No civilized society will ever allow its own army, raised and armed at a great cost to society, to be used so mercilessly against its own citizens and expect business as usual. In a society where the majority is without fundamental rights, without education, without economic opportunities, without healthcare, the use of sheer force will only expand the extremist fringe and contract the majority moderate.Our military rulers are incapable of understanding that the real owners of the country are its people who must have the right as, political sovereigns, to decide without fear and coercion who should rule them. In India the only qualification for Lalo Prasad or his domestic housewife Rabri Devi to rule Bihar was the mandate of the people. Can we imagine our ruling elite ever accepting a similar peoples verdict. This fundamental question of Who Owns Pakistan must be decided once and for all.

In the absence of democracy and rule of law, extremism and religious fundamentalism will continue to grow at a frightening pace. The more the present regime bows to Washingtons desire to “do more and the more innocent Pakistani blood is shed under the garb of fighting the war on terror or curbing extremism, the more Pakistan moves towards becoming a “failed state, and the more people would resort to picking up arms against the security forces.
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Update @ 0500: Hundreds Rally in Manhattan to Support Pakistani Attorneys

NY Pakistani ProtestHundreds Rally at Courthouse to Support Pakistani Attorneys,” New York Law Journal, “About 700 lawyers rallied yesterday afternoon in front of state Supreme Court in Manhattan to show support for lawyers and judges in Pakistan battling for the restoration of the rule of law. Addressing the throng that poured down the courthouse steps and spilled onto the sidewalk, Barry Kamins, president of the New York City Bar Association, said the rally was called ‘to embolden” the Pakistani lawyers and judges who have been “physically manning barricades and trying to face down an entire army.’

Kathryn Madigan, president of the New York State Bar Association, also called for lawyers to speak “with one voice in defense of the rule of law” in Pakistan. The American Bar Association has called for lawyers to march around the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., and attend a rally on the courthouse steps tomorrow.

Read more at The New York Law Journal


Its time for street protests : Imran Khan

Published in DAWN on November 13th
By Shehar Bano Khan

Looking defiant and all set to mobilise students on the streets on Wednesday (tomorrow) against Gen Musharrafs emergency rule, Pakistan Tereek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan lashes out at the Washington plan of installing its dream team of moderates.

Dismissing the election formula for being devised and dictated by the US administration, Mr Khan proclaims the students march will be the most momentous since the independence movement.

“It is going to be the most important movement since the movement for the independence of this country. Our theme is the restoration of the pre-emergency judiciary. Our party has been carefully planning this movement and we feel now the time is right to come out on to the streets to protest against the Provisional Constitutional Order, and reject the holding of elections under emergency. How can elections be held when the country has been put under emergency, when theres suspension of fundamental rights, no recourse to justice and rampant rule of the jungle? blitzes Mr Khan.
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Update @0930: American Bar Association organizes national rally in DC – Nov 14

Received via e-mail from the president of the ABA (American Bar Association) — William Neukom, through one of the ABA’s lawyers, ABA is calling on all lawyers across the US to join the peace rally in DC on Wednesday this week where they will be marching to the US Supreme Court to show their support for lawyers and the judiciary who have been arrested, detained and charged in Pakistan:


Dear fellow lawyers,

The ABA is planning a national effort to show solidarity with lawyers in Pakistan and to support restoration of the rule of law there. We are organizing a march in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 14, 2007, where a critical mass of lawyers wearing black suits will gather and walk around the United States Supreme Court Building.

To make this event truly national, we need your help. I urge all state and local bar associations to hold similar events on the same day. Imagine the impact of lawyers from all regions and walks of life speaking with one voice on one day in support of justice. Together, we can mobilize American lawyers and show our united support for the rule of law and lawyers in Pakistan.

The Bar Association of San Francisco is gathering today with other Bay Area legal organizations in front of the federal building. The New York City Bar and the New York County Lawyers Association are planning a rally for next Tuesday. You can see the statements that other bar associations have issued here. It is essential that American lawyers work together to support the rule of law. Please join our effort to show the world that Pakistan’s lawyers are not fighting alone.
Please contact either Roseanne Lucianek at lucianer AT staff.abanet.org or Joanne O’Reilly at oreillyj AT staff.abanet.org in the Division for Bar Services with further questions.


Update @ 1745: Imran Khan sends message on the battle for Pakistan

We received the following e-mail from Imran Khan who highlights the massive crackdown on genuine opposition, police brutality being used as a tool to induce fear for those attending peace rallies, and the need to restore an independent judiciary among other valuable insights:

The imposition of martial law under the garb of emergency should make it abundantly clear to everyone that dictators cannot afford even a semblance of either an independent judicial system or a free media. And neither can the assortment of criminals camouflaged as politicians who collaborate with dictators.
No one is fooled by Gen. Musharafs latest deception to hang on to power. The war on terror has served him well so far and so why change a successful strategy; spread fear in the western capitals by invoking images of bearded men with guns and in the meanwhile brutally crush all dissent within the country, as was recently done by the Burmese Military. Having inducted pliant and amoral judges through the PCO, the next step would be to massively rig the elections while keeping the media muzzled. What he hopes is that he will again have a rubber stamp Assembly, a controlled majority and a friendly opposition, while real power will rest with him for another 5 years.

So, what we are witnessing is the first phase of the plan. Massive crackdown on the genuine opposition, lawyers, human right activists and the civil society. He is hoping that the police brutality will induce enough fear in the people for him to crush all dissent within a couple of weeks, before he takes the next step of getting himself endorsed by his pocket judges.

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Telling it as it is to America

An article appeared in The News on October 23 narrating the discussion that took place in the meeting with Senator Tom Daschle, I feel the participants were quite blunt and open in telling the former US Senator their true feelings, almost what I would have done given the opportunity, but the question is will it make a difference.

Anjum Niaz

The News: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tom Daschle was in Islamabad. He is the former US Senate majority leader. His mission was to take back to Washington snapshots of the coming elections in Pakistan. Hes a power engine in the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Capitol Hill. His delegations arrival coincided with Benazir Bhuttos caravan of democracy getting botched up by suicide bombings.

More than the elections, Daschle appeared preoccupied with violence when he opened up a dialogue with members of PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency). Shahid Hamid, once a Farooq Leghari loyalist and former governor Punjab gave an opening statement on PILDATs behalf, saying the electoral process was at a “sensitive stage. Among his team were Lt-Gen. (retd) Asad Durrani, former director-general Inter-Services Intelligence and military intelligence; Dr Ijaz Shafi Gilani, chairman Gallup, Pakistan; Tasneem Noorani, former interior secretary; Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, executive director PILDAT and Aasiya Riaz, joint director PILDAT.
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Pakistan is the World’s Most Dangerous Nation : Newsweek

Newsweek Pakistan Dangerous CountryNewsweek has dedicated this weeks cover page to Pakistan with a bold title “The Most Dangerous Nation in the World Isn’t Iraq – Its Pakistan” (read the entire 6 page cover story here). To be honest Pakistanis are not at all surprised, as it was on the cards all along and we have been watching this happen while our so called leaders deliberately played to the tune of Enlightened Moderation.

The problem started after 9/11 when America wanted to wage a war to seek revenge, they may have sugar coated the word revenge to neutralize it as a global issue by labeling it as a war on terror, but in true sense it was one nation fighting against its own enemies. This offensive in reality went far beyond simply being an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth concept to more like the phrase used by Mahatma Gandhi “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind” which he used in reference to his Satyagraha philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
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Assault on a Lawyer (Naeem Bukhari)

I share with you this letter written by Naeem Bukhari brought to my attention courtesy of an avid reader of this blog, Dr. Moeed Pirzada. I quote his message which I feel is self explanatory

I am posting here a recent article from Naeem Bokhari, after his thrashing by a group of lawyers inside the court room of Additional Sessions Judge. Since Mr. Bokhari’s action, of writing an open letter against the CJ was hotly debated, in your blog, it will be interesting to see what kind of reactions it ellicits now-given the fact that the events in Pakistan have moved full circle since then. If you will have any reservations in posting it, I will understand that, since most in media and legal community have conveniently ignored this development and I guess-sitting in London- that it is not kosher to discuss it. – Dr. Moeed Pirzada

I tend to agree with Dr. Pirzada it should be interesting to get the pulse of the nation in response to this letter written by Naeem Bukhari, since the dust has settled surrounding the CJP issues starting from his famous letter written in February 2007 and then as they say, the rest is history.
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…to Pakistan

Pakistan Flag…. the 60th Independence Day of Pakistan is about to end, and I, like a number of Pakistanis sadly are not exactly ‘hip’ with joy celebrating this all important event. In 60 years we were supposed to be progressing with leaps and bounds, we were supposed to be competing shoulder to shoulder in the world economic boom for our business, but instead we are struggling for our existence. What happened? Where did we go wrong?

In 2005 I seemed to be quite upbeat with the patriotic emotions but also expressed my concerns at the confusing political situation by writing A Tribute to Pakistan
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Deal Against the Nation

By Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto
Published in Dawn 11th August 2007

It is no surprise that in the current whirlwind of imminent political realignments the usual adventurers have started salivating at the prospect of yet another bite at the cherry, while those who have had an absolute ball at public expense for the last eight years, see an escape from accountability at the polls through an immoral and shady deal.

But it is really depressing that our society as a whole is caught up in the slipstream of the fraud that is being perpetrated against the nation. The Musharraf and Benazir linkup, must raise many serious questions, based on the record of their past practices, and it is up to the sane elements, particularly the media, to honestly analyse what all this means for Pakistan.
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