Saturday, April 26, 2008

Musharraf vs Restoration of Judges: Showdown

An article written by Abbas Kassar in The Pakistan Weekly caught my eye which was titled Musharraf Threatens To Dissolve Assemblies If Judges Restored, it raises some serious concerns about the looming threat wielded by Musharraf and his right to exercise article 58-2(B) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. Quite simply utilizing this threat to keep PPP at bay

…as meetings of committee continues which has been assigned task to prepare draft resolution to be put before parliament the President called his aide to president house since last two days to block way of restoration of judges. It was disclosed by source that. 3 petitions would be filed in supreme court one each by MQM, Q league and Dr. Sher Afghan to stay any resolution to be brought to parliament. Speaker, Deputy Speaker of National Assembly and Law Minister will be made respondent in the petitions. Presidential camp threatened that if judges were restored president would not hesitate in invoking article 58 (B)-2 of constitution and may dissolve national assembly.

The entire world, including most Pakistanis have continued to celebrate the return of democracy in Pakistan, amidst the chaos of full swing political adjustment which include in no short measure the ‘pardons’ being served up for the ‘men in power’ who are predominantly busy whitewashing their sins in the name of political compromise for the ‘greater good’.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blog on the Move

Blog on the Move


Since the past few days I have been having nightmares with my host (dreamhost) either due to a fault in my system or their lackluster response to attending my frantic cries for help. Yesterday I finally pulled the plug and decided to move to {mt} mediatemple, a pricier host but generally very supportive and is known to run quite a number of top websites world over.

Hence at around 1:00 pm this afternoon I have moved my blog (content and database) over to their servers and roughly around the same time initiated the application at pknic to port my domain over to the new DNS numbers. Now the buck lies squarely on PKNIC on how soon they will attend to my ticket (I was shocked when they emailed me that it may take 2-7 days Yikes !! - fingers crossed) and then finally the time it takes for the DNS to propagate. So ideally when you see this post disappear (image), I would have moved.

Until then all comments have been disabled and no new posts will be made until the move is complete

Proposed Resolution for the Restoration of Judges by the National Assembly

Proposed Resolution for the Restoration of Judges by the National Assembly

The text of the draft prepared for Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari by Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim for the restoration of the pre-Nov 3rd Judges



WHEREAS, We the elected representatives of the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan acknowledge and honor the long and arduous struggle for the return to democracy and rule of law by the legal fraternity, civil society and the ordinary citizens of our beloved country.

AND WHEREAS, We pay tribute to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and thousands of brave political activists across the country who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives or suffered imprisonment for the cause of restoration of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. We shall not let their sacrifices go in vain.

AND WHEREAS, this Assembly is mindful that the foundation of democracy cannot survive without a return to the rule of law. We are mindful, that the rule of law cannot survive the rule of the gun unless we have an independent judiciary. And, we are cognizant that we shall never have an independent judiciary if the Judges of the Superior Court’s of this country are imprisoned at the whims of a lone individual.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PPP proposing “Minus-One-Formula"

PPP proposing "Minus-One-Formula"

Iftikhar Chaudhry releasedThe top PPP leadership has recently approached the legal community proposing a "Minus-One-Formula" which opens the door for a full restoration of the judiciary without the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. It is in some way living up to the Murree Declaration albeit with a few political compromises but basically a face saving package for the PML-N and its full uncompromising commitment to the restoration of Pre-Nov 3rd judges. PPP being in the driving seat will undoubtedly bull doze its own agenda while the Sharif brothers will be left biting the dust and quite literally taken for a ride (willingly or unwillingly? - time will only tell). PML in turn may accept these compromise, claiming to fulfilled part of the promise as it was a minority partner in the PPP-led parliament

It has been a fact that the present PCO-adorned CJP Justice Dogar is a PPP leaning judge and surely Asif Zardari would definitely not sacrifice this top slot to accept Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry a PML-N leaning judge, paramount to shooting himself in the foot.

It seems that for now the leading lawyer activists are claiming that none of the judges will take office without the full and uncompromisable restoration of the entire pre-Nov 3rd Judiciary, but internally there are significant rifts within the legal cadre and the instant a partial restoration (minus-one-formula) is announced most of the ’sidelined judges’ will snap into attention abandoning the rank and file and take oath for office, with or without Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

PPP names Yousuf Raza Gilani as interim PM

PPP names Yousuf Raza Gilani as interim PM

The Pakistan Peoples Party Saturday named ex-parliamentary speaker Yousuf Raza Gilani as its candidate to be the country’s new prime minister. “I have great pleasure in calling upon Yousuf Raza Gilani in the name of Shaheed (martyr) Benazir Bhutto to accept the heavy responsibility to lead the coalition government and the nation”, said a statement by Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari that was read out to reporters by party spokesman Farhatullah Babar.

The statement said that Gilani was the 'consensus' candidate of the coalition. Gilani is a stalwart figure in the PPP and friend of Zardari who spent five years in jail under Musharraf’s regime on corruption charges that were later overturned. He was speaker during Benazir's second term in power from 1993 to 1996 and a minister during her first term from 1988 to 1990. Party spokesman Farhatullah Babar would not comment on reports that Gilani would be a stop-gap premier until Zardari, who is not an MP, becomes eligible to stand for the post by contesting a by-election in May. The party struggled to settle on a candidate amid a power vacuum left by the charismatic Bhutto’s assassination in December, with Gilani emerging only in the last week.

It was surprising to see the announcment made by a press statement unlike the much anticpated annoucbment by Bilawal (Zardari) Bhutto. The other contenders were ex-trade minister Ahmed Mukhtar, party president Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Punjab province party chief Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seminar: Do Countries sell their own people?

Seminar: Do Countries sell their own people?

attaae25.jpgA seminar is being held in Lahore on Human Rights titled,

Do countries sell their own people? Civil liberties in the age of the War on Terror.

Time: 3:00 PM
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008
Venue: HRCP Auditorium (107 Tipu Block, Garden Town, Near Barkat Market) - Google Map or Download the JPEG Image

The speakers are Mrs. Amna Masood Janjua, spokesperson of the families of the missing people as well as a senior advocate of the Lahore High Court. Mrs Amna Masood’s husband went missing about 2 years ago, since then she has waged struggle for the release of his husband whose whereabouts are still unknown. She has been joined by the relatives of other missing persons whose loved ones went missing during the last some years (allegedly ’sold’ to US agencies, on the pre-text of war on terror).

The issue made headlines when CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry took notice and ensured the release of several missing persons from the shackles of illegal detention.(Refer to for details)

The seminar will be preceded by a screening of the documentary “Missing in Pakistan”

We hope to be able to help them with this campaign when they visit Lahore. We would like the maximum number of people to hear the stories of these victims of arbitrary state-aggression so that people understand that not all those “picked up by the agencies” are terrorists or extremists - and more importantly, that even if they are suspects, they deserve due process and the chance to defend themselves the same way that any other suspect (accused of theft or murder or fraud) is entitled to under our Constitution.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Silent Revolution - 2

Silent Revolution - 2

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik (blog)
Previous Article of the series : Silent Revolution - 1

My brief visit to Pakistan in March was welcomed by suicidal blast in Lahore FIA building and farewell attack in Islamabad restaurant resulting several deaths and injuries which pose a serious question of law an order situation in Pakistan where some ordinary citizens still believe that its more of self created problem and may be some agencies involved in it. Opinion is divided which is fatal for Pakistan as govt of the day has failed to send a message across the gravity of situation where unknown sophisticatedly armed men are willing to die with hundred others to score some political point, is it a revenge or the foreign invasion of different kind. It may be the failure of Musharraf regime to properly advocate in favour of their ill thought policies which are back firing. As a nation Pakistanis are not trained to an extent where they can stop any danger coming towards the state in fact, we all awake when the water is above the danger threshold, and nationalism is no where seen in Pakistan and alas Qauid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah is confined to portraits and ceremonial status. His sayings and doings are hardly remembered in particular by our rulers. If they are acted upon from the beginning or even now, we would not be in the mess we are currently in.

12th May massacre showed the tendency of rulers to an extent they may go to suppress lawful drive for constitutionalism in Pakistan, however, the way nation behaved over the tragic death of late Be Nazir burning their own train stations, looting banks and blowing businesses and damaging properties is a worrying sign for the flag carriers of federation. We need to knit ourselves to one nation without caring our geographical heritage or regional location in order to combat the 21st century war of information. Of course, language can play an important and integral part in carrying the message and none other than Urdu could be used to broadcast national message which may be understood by all as if you speak in foreign language how can you convey your message in a borrowed language. I would go one step further and would recommend national disciplinary service to train the whole nation towards rule of law & basic defence drive so that we as a nation start to learn respecting the law of the land.

Journalists roughed up while covering the NA Speaker election

Journalists roughed up while covering the NA Speaker election

Yesterday during the National Assembly session where the elections were underway to elect the new speaker of the house, outside it seems that the media was being roughed up for God knows what reason, under specific orders of the SP & DSP. One can only speculate as to why these media outlets were being prevented from covering the national assembly session.

Journalists Beaten up

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bilawal (Zardari) Bhutto in Pakistan to announce the name of PM

Bilawal (Zardari) Bhutto in Pakistan to announce the name of PM

It is surprising that with all the reeling and dealing orchestrated by Asif Ali Zardari alone he now feels its important to recall his son Bilawal Zardari back to Pakistan to simply make the official announcement for the new Prime Minister. Farhatullah Babar is quoted to have said that the "The name of the prime minister will be announced when the parliament session is reconvened for the election of the prime minister," which is expected next week.

One has to wonder at the politics of this move by Asif Zardari and the need to call his son to make this announcement. A number of sources within the party are definitely distraught at this move, as they feel Bilawal did not find it ‘important enough‘ to come to Pakistan and pay homage for his mothers’ chehlum, but found it convenient to abandon his studies for a few days to rubber stamp the nomination made by his father. In all likelihood this decision will most likely be a tough one and literally holding the party on the verge of a breakup

Fehmida Mirza, elected as Speaker with 2/3 marjority

Fehmida Mirza, elected as Speaker with 2/3 marjority

Dr Fehmida Mirza the first woman speaker for the National Assembly in Pakistan was elected as speaker of the National Assembly by around a 2/3rd majority. Dr Mirza got 249 votes out of 319 votes cast. Her opponent Sardar Mohammad Israr Tarin polled 70 votes.

Hence we can start assuming that ‘IF’ the newly elected law makers deem it necessary then many of the illegal constitutional changes made by Pervaiz Musharraf can be undone. These people have been entrusted with a huge mandate and a heavy burden lies on their shoulders to perform and not repeat mistakes of yesteryears.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

… even the Young Pakistanis say it

Cute and Funny but very true… Go Cards

Bhutto's Assassination Evidence Hosed Down

This video captured from a cell phone shows a shocking detail of how ruthlessly the Rawalpindi firefighters destroyed the crime scene. Some may argue that they might have scraped the scene completely before authorizing it to be cleansed. But with all the confusion surrounding the assassination and that too of an Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan I would suspect they would work a lot harder then merely picking up the trash. No wonder they have their story all mixed up.


Sherry Rehman saw Bullet Wounds, But why the Twist?

To continue adding a twist to the entire controversy surrounding the assassination of PPP Chairperson and Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan. Sherry Rehman vehemently refutes the claims made by the Government that Benazir had knocked her head on a lever on the side of the vehicle. Sherry Rehman insists that she saw a bullet wound on the side of the head while she bathed the fallen leader in the final ritual before her burial. She that her car was used to transport Benazir to hospital. “There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side. “We could not even wash her properly because the wound was still seeping. She lost a huge amount of blood.” Rehman accused the government of mounting a cover-up over Benazir’s death. “The hospital was made to change its statement. They never gave a proper report,” she said. “I believe the interior ministry is saying that she died from some concussion that may have taken place against the sunroof. This is ridiculous, dangerous nonsense because it is a cover-up of what actually happened.”
Bullet went from the back & came out the other side.
This blogger early today morning acquired the images that in someway does refute the statement made by the Government of Pakistan, but the question is why did the Musharraf propaganda team follow this line of action. This blogger feels that Musharraf saw this as yet another opportunity to redirect the blame onto Al-Qaieda, he did that successfully on Oct 18th, no video footage refuted his claims so he pulled it off. This time he was not so lucky as in broad day light everyone has a decent mobile camera to seize the action and these images quite literally screw up the entire propaganda. He needed the Al-Qaeda twist to prove to his supporters (read USA’s war on Terror) that this country is brimming with Al-Qaeda, a bomb blast here, a bomb blast in Karachi, a Bomb blast in Swat - heck its filled with the rotten bastards called Al-Qaeda. Lets not forget the Lal Masjid disaster and the May 12th Massacre while we are recalling historic events.
Musharraf in his conniving way found another opportunity to yet again twist the truth, and his propaganda team held a press conference after the burial on Friday and then again on Saturday drumming the same issue they were simply adamant to get their point across. Tomorrow they hope to come with a new plan and say, mark my words ‘with this new evidence we now believe…..’
The world must now listen - its time to get this two-timing idiot thrown to the gallows he now is more of liability then good and with him steering the ship we are destined for destruction.

They don't blame Al-Qa'ida. They blame Musharraf: Robert Fisk

By Robert Fisk Published in The Independent UK.

This is an article worth reading where Robert Fisk places the right questions, we genuinely believe its not the work of Al-Qa’ida but instead an outcome of Musharraf’s eight year rule, few recent links here and here while this blog is full of statements condemning Musharraf practically since its inception in 2004. So as they say the writing was on the wall, only if someone dared to read the wall is the question, as they say better late then never but please save my country from the brink of disaster

Weird, isn’t it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us. Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, is assassinated in Rawalpindi – attached to the very capital of Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf lives – and we are told by George Bush that her murderers were “extremists” and “terrorists”. Well, you can’t dispute that.

But the implication of the Bush comment was that Islamists were behind the assassination. It was the Taliban madmen again, the al-Qa’ida spider who struck at this lone and brave woman who had dared to call for democracy in her country.

Of course, given the childish coverage of this appalling tragedy – and however corrupt Ms Bhutto may have been, let us be under no illusions that this brave lady is indeed a true martyr – it’s not surprising that the “good-versus-evil” donkey can be trotted out to explain the carnage in Rawalpindi.

Who would have imagined, watching the BBC or CNN on Thursday, that her two brothers, Murtaza and Shahnawaz, hijacked a Pakistani airliner in 1981 and flew it to Kabul where Murtaza demanded the release of political prisoners in Pakistan. Here, a military officer on the plane was murdered. There were Americans aboard the flight – which is probably why the prisoners were indeed released.

Only a few days ago – in one of the most remarkable (but typically unrecognised) scoops of the year – Tariq Ali published a brilliant dissection of Pakistan (and Bhutto) corruption in the London Review of Books, focusing on Benazir and headlined: “Daughter of the West”. In fact, the article was on my desk to photocopy as its subject was being murdered in Rawalpindi.

Towards the end of this report, Tariq Ali dwelt at length on the subsequent murder of Murtaza Bhutto by police close to his home at a time when Benazir was prime minister – and at a time when Benazir was enraged at Murtaza for demanding a return to PPP values and for condemning Benazir’s appointment of her own husband as minister for industry, a highly lucrative post.

In a passage which may yet be applied to the aftermath of Benazir’s murder, the report continues: “The fatal bullet had been fired at close range. The trap had been carefully laid, but, as is the way in Pakistan, the crudeness of the operation – false entries in police log-books, lost evidence, witnesses arrested and intimidated – a policeman killed who they feared might talk – made it obvious that the decision to execute the prime minister’s brother had been taken at a very high level.”

When Murtaza’s 14-year-old daughter, Fatima, rang her aunt Benazir to ask why witnesses were being arrested – rather than her father’s killers – she says Benazir told her: “Look, you’re very young. You don’t understand things.” Or so Tariq Ali’s exposé would have us believe. Over all this, however, looms the shocking power of Pakistan’s ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence.
This vast institution – corrupt, venal and brutal – works for Musharraf.

But it also worked – and still works – for the Taliban. It also works for the Americans. In fact, it works for everybody. But it is the key which Musharraf can use to open talks with America’s enemies when he feels threatened or wants to put pressure on Afghanistan or wants to appease the ” extremists” and “terrorists” who so oppress George Bush. And let us remember, by the way, that Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded by his Islamist captors in Karachi, actually made his fatal appointment with his future murderers from an ISI commander’s office. Ahmed Rashid’s book Taliban provides riveting proof of the ISI’s web of corruption and violence. Read it, and all of the above makes more sense.

But back to the official narrative. George Bush announced on Thursday he was “looking forward” to talking to his old friend Musharraf. Of course, they would talk about Benazir. They certainly would not talk about the fact that Musharraf continues to protect his old acquaintance – a certain Mr Khan – who supplied all Pakistan’s nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran. No, let’s not bring that bit of the “axis of evil” into this.

So, of course, we were asked to concentrate once more on all those ” extremists” and “terrorists”, not on the logic of questioning which many Pakistanis were feeling their way through in the aftermath of Benazir’s assassination.
It doesn’t, after all, take much to comprehend that the hated elections looming over Musharraf would probably be postponed indefinitely if his principal political opponent happened to be liquidated before polling day.

So let’s run through this logic in the way that Inspector Ian Blair might have done in his policeman’s notebook before he became the top cop in London.
Question: Who forced Benazir Bhutto to stay in London and tried to prevent her return to Pakistan? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who ordered the arrest of thousands of Benazir’s supporters this month? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who placed Benazir under temporary house arrest this month? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who declared martial law this month? Answer General Musharraf.

Question: who killed Benazir Bhutto?

Er. Yes. Well quite.

You see the problem? Yesterday, our television warriors informed us the PPP members shouting that Musharraf was a “murderer” were complaining he had not provided sufficient security for Benazir. Wrong. They were shouting this because they believe he killed her.