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.