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Archive for August, 2008

Country-wide protests over judges’ reinstatement–>Keep up the good work!

August 29, 2008 1 comment

It’s great to see nation’s commitment is strong as ever for the great cause of justice and the restoration of indpendent judiciary.

Keep up the good work!

Country-wide protests over judges’ reinstatement(The News)
Friday, August 29, 2008

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) and the Peshawar District Bar Association (PDBA) on Thursday blocked the Rahman Baba Square for two hours and staged a sit-in to protest the dilly-dallying tactics of the government in the restoration of the non-functional judges of the superior courts.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and civil society organisations, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, also participated in the demonstration.

The protesting lawyers blocked the road for all kinds of vehicular traffic. Situation got tense when the irate lawyers refused to open the road for a military convoy. However, on the intervention of PHCBA President Abdul Lateef Afridi and other senior lawyers, the protesters opened the blockade for the Army vehicles.

Addressing the demonstrators, the PHCBA chief said any minus-one formula for the restoration of non-functional judges was unacceptable to the lawyers community. Legal fraternity would continue its struggle till the restoration of the non-functional judges, he said, adding that the demonstration was staged to remind Zardari of his promises he had made to the nation.

PHCBA Secretary-General Muhammad Isa Khan presented a resolution, censuring the role of the Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek in reappointing the SHC judges. Meanwhile, the District Bar Association, Charsadda, staged a protest, which was led by Waris Khan. Workers of the Jamaat-e-Islami also joined the protest.

The legal fraternity staged a sit-in on the Mardan-Malakand Road to press the government to reinstate the non-functional judges. The lawyers led by District Bar President Alamzeb Khan came out on the road. They also staged a sit-in for an hour.

Also, lawyers boycotted court proceedings and staged a demonstration in Kohat, demanding the restoration of the sacked judges. However, members of the People’s Lawyers Forum did not participate in the strike.

Lawyers of the Dera High Court Bar and the District Bar Association led by High Court Bar President Chaudhry Muhammad Daud and Hashmat Nawaz Sadozai took out a procession for the reinstatement of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges.

Like other parts of the country, lawyers of the Dir Lower Bar Association also staged a protest, demanding restoration of pre-November 3 judiciary. They staged a sit-in at the main Timergara Bazaar and blocked the road for all kinds of traffic for two hours.

Expressing solidarity with the deposed judges, the Swat Bar Association took out a rally. The members of the bar staged a sit-in at the Nishat Chowk. The Abbottabad Bar Association blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH) at the Abbottabad Fawara Chowk and staged a sit-in that lasted for two hours. The legal fraternity also blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH). Besides, the Bannu Bar Association staged a sit-in on the Kutchery Road for two hours.

Our correspondent adds from Quetta: Lawyers took out a rally and staged a sit-in in the centre of the provincial metropolis on Thursday to support the restoration of the judiciary. A number of lawyers thronged the Manan Chowk, Jinnah Road. Members and office bearers of the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) and the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) took part in the protests. Convener of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) and Chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai, former president of the National Party Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch, Secretary General of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Habib Jalib Baloch and other politicians also participated.

Our correspondent adds from Hyderabad: A large number of lawyers and political activists staged a sit-in for two hours here on Thursday at the Fatima Jinnah Road outside the Civil Courts building and demanded the reinstatement of the superior court judges.

A rally of the high court lawyers and the district bar association was taken out from the Sessions Court. Activists of the Awami Tehreek (AT), the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) and the PML-N joined the protest and raised slogans against the ruling coalition.

Central leader of the AT Rasool Bux Palejo, PML-N leader Afzal Gujjar, STPP leader Hot Khan Gaddi and JI leaders also joined the sit-in. Our correspondent adds from Rawalpindi: Commuters, especially women and schoolchildren, faced numerous difficulties here on Thursday as traffic remained blocked on all major roads due to sit-ins by lawyers.

The traffic on the Jhelum Road near the Soan bus terminal, Kutchery Road, Murree Road, Airport Road and Jhanda Chichi Road remained blocked for two hours. The worst traffic mess was witnessed on the Mall Road, Rawal Road, Adiala Road, Islamabad Highway, Kurri Road, Asghar Mall Road and Saidpur Road due to traffic jams. Motorists and pedestrians were unable to pass through the Kutchery Chowk and Liaquat Bagh Chowk.

10% to 100%

August 27, 2008 4 comments

A person who is well known as Mr. 10% now wants to become Mr.100% =). Who knew the person who has several charges upon him in the context of curruption will now be our next President. Its just another sad story to bear by any of the true Nationalist.

A few people still morn about the resignation of our ex-president giving a very lame reason that he was better then any other upcoming President. But does that really mean we should keep on bearing such people who are comparitively LESS BAD. I just don’t know why? Why can’t we become perfectionist. Why can’t we go for a person who is too Good!

One of the reason that has been stated in a well known hadith that “Your Ruler will be assigned as per your deeds“, which apparently seems quite obvious these days. Poor presidency, again to be handed over to a person who is not even respected around his country. I am sure his 10% commission will increase enormously with no check-n-balance upon him. He would feel himself to be the master of his faith once the presidency is handed over to him.

I beleive Ex-President’s resignation was a TREND set by this Nation by getting rid of a person who isn’t being liked around the country. And this is not it, I am hopeful that this Nation would take a stand again to make the 10% Man move towards the gate of EXIT.

All we could do is unite and have a faith, trust and true beleive on our selves. Because unity is something that could bring a revolution among us. Unite for the Justice, Unite for making Mr. 10% to zEr0, Unite for making this piece of world to be the Land of Peace and not the least unite for becoming a NATION for which we could just dreamt for =)

Fi Amanillah!

source:jingoism.freehostia.com

Kashmiris struggling for their basic right of freedom

August 26, 2008 10 comments

It’s a test for world’s so called civilized nation and organiztions representing them to choose between illegal occupation or genuine struggle for basic right of freedom in Kashmir.

We support the nobel cause of Kashmir and support theri demand for self determination.

Keep it up Kashmir we are with you.

Key leaders arrested in Kashmir(DAWN)

By Jawed Naqvi
NEW DELHI, Aug 25: Key resistance leaders, including heads of both factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, were among more than 100 activists arrested in the occupied Kashmir ahead of a protest rally on Monday.

An official spokesman said Mr Malik, who had gone underground on Sunday evening, was picked up from an area in the city on Monday.

Reports said that about 100 second rank and other separatist leaders, including the Hurriyat chiefs were taken into custody during the last 24 hours to prevent them from participating in a march to Srinagar’s Lal Chowk city square — call for which was given by their Coordination Committee (CC) — spearheading the present agitation in the valley.

Indian Information Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said meanwhile that the federal government would probe an attack on media personnel by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men when the former were performing their duty in Srinagar during the curfew.

Mr Dasmunshi said he would also speak to the Kashmir governor over the issue.

On Sunday, CRPF men had beaten up about a dozen media personnel and damaged about half a dozen vehicles of journalists in the city. The CRPF men beat up six more media persons on Monday when they were performing their duties during the curfew. The CRPF is reported to have refused to honour the media curfew passes.

Meanwhile, all local TV channels remained off the air in protest against the order of the District Magistrate directing them not to telecast news and current affairs programme.

The management of almost all the local English and Urdu Dailies decided not to publish Monday’s issue because of the indefinite curfew in the valley since Sunday, a report from Srinagar said.

Former Chief Justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqi to contest against Zardari.

August 26, 2008 1 comment

Honorabale Justice Retired Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqi (Former CJ of Pakistan who refused to take oath under Musharraf’s first PCO) is now going to contest in presidential election against Mr 10% Zardari.

We support the honorable Saeed uz  Zaman who stood on the occasion to serve his country and nation and wish best of luck to him.

Winning and losing is another thing but by standing against the evil he has shown that not all are in oblivion.


Link :Interview of Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqi for a Pakistani portal

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PML-N nominates Saeeduzzaman
(The News)
ISLAMABAD: The PML-N on Monday nominated chief justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui as its candidate for the September 6 presidential election.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif announced the nomination of Justice (retd) Siddiqui after chairing a joint meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) and the parliamentary party here at the Punjab House.

“He is a true Pakistani who sacrificed his career for the supremacy of the Constitution and refused to take oath under the PCO. Moreover, he has no affiliations with any political party,” Nawaz Sharif told a news conference.

The PML-N is thankful to Justice (retd) Siddiqui for accepting its request to become its presidential candidate, he added. Talking briefly to newsmen, Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui said it was an honour for him that the PML-N had nominated him as its presidential candidate.

“The PML-N is the most popular party of the country which has laid the foundation of principled politics,” he said. He added that for the first time in the history of the country, a party had campaigned for the independence and dignity of the judiciary.

He observed that at a time when the country was engulfed in crisis and a military operation was in progress in the tribal areas, there was huge responsibility on the PML-N and the PPP to steer the nation out of the crisis. “The country should not be driven to the 1971-like situation,” he said.

Dr. Afia’s elder son in US detention:officials

August 25, 2008 2 comments

US officials have accepted that Ahmed the elder son of Dr. Afia who was kidnapped by US and Pakistani agencies in August 2003 from Karachi is in US custody, accepted by US officials.

I don’t know in what condition he is in and what law allows the illegal detention of a 10 years old (who was 5 when he was kidnapped)?

Still there is no news of the other two children (one of them was 1 month old when he was kidnapped).

28 August, Sit-in to support the cause of judiciary all over Pakistan

August 25, 2008 1 comment

Supreme Court Bar Association President, Aitzaz Ahsan has called for Sit-in (Dharna) for the restoration of judiciary on 28th August .

All the people are requested to support this nobel cause and be there (keep your selves updated for the dharna location in your city).

Timings: 12:00 -2:00 pm

Date: 28th August

Cause: To restore independent judiciary of Pakistan

Also he announced that there will be a dharna at constitution avenue, Islamabad.

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(Regional Times)

Lawyers to stage countrywide sit-ins on Aug 28: Aitzaz

ISLAMABAD: National Coordination Council of lawyers Saturday decided to stage countrywide sit-ins on August 28 Thursday; these sit-ins would be two-hour long and would be held at every bar including High Court Bars and district bar association across the country.
Addressing a press conference after the lawyers meeting here, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan announced this decision. He said an executive committee has been constituted to conduct consultations on implementation of the decisions of lawyers coordination council. This committee would have Aitzaz Ahsan as chairman and Sardar Asmatulla as its Secretary General and Hafiz Abdur Rahman as Information Secretary. SCBA president said the representative lawyers including the office-bearers of all the bar councils of country would stage sit-in on September 4 at the Constitution Avenue. Ahsan said every bar of the country would conduct a general body meeting on August 25 (Monday) and will pass condemnation resolution against Pakistan Bar Council and the black flags would again be hoisted on all bar council buildings throughout Pakistan. He said PBC has deviated from the cause of lawyers, adding the lawyers meeting has unanimously passed resolution in condemnation of PBC.—Agencies

Resignation,fair trial and way to go ahead…

August 18, 2008 3 comments

Finally the dictator who ruled (or ruined ) the country for 9 years has finally resigned (Congratulations Pakistan).

Now its time for the present government to give him a fair trial which is the right of every Pakistani, we don’t want revenge as Bilawal Zardari said also we don’t want a safe passage but all we want is a fair trial in front of an independent judicial commission which will comprise of credible people and will be responsible to investigate and on the bases of those investigation launch a trial against Pervaiz Musharraf.

Now the coalition government has no excuse to delay the restoration of judges and undo the unconstitutional measures by General (R) Musharraf.

Also instead of blaming the previous government for current crises (we all know how bad they performed), the current setup must focus on resolving the issues and if they can’t do it then instead of wasting nations time and resources they should leave the government otherwise the nation will rise against them with unity and force more stronger than they used against the dictator because the current government is elected by people.

The nation must not stop their struggle here .We still have to achieve the goals of free judiciary, social and economic justice and to achieve the true spirit of freedom with responsibility and rule of law.

Dictatorship,feudalism and corrupt mullaiat –>;What! is there any thing else for us????

August 17, 2008 2 comments

The impeachment drama to keep people away from the real issues by our corrupt so called representatives is about to enter into the climax(ending will be positive inshaAllah but for that we have to get ready for a long struggle).

The Pakistan Feudal Party (I don’t know why it is still known as People’s Party) Chairman Asif Ali Zardari (his appointment is a classic example of their commitment with democracy, how can a person inherit people’s will?), blessed by Musharraf with NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance to legalize the loot and plunder our so called political and not so political like Rehman Malik etc did during the last few decades) is now staging a drama to give Musharraf a safe exit(What safe exit and to whom? To a killer of thousands and the person who betrayed constituion and the nation!).

The only thing which is creating hurdle is retired general’s will “to serve” his nation more but since the green signal is there from the “masters” of Pakistan so in the new script its hard to fit Musharraf .Our “masters” don’t want Iran type revolution where people got so frustrated with the Shah that they kicked him them-selves and if Musharraf stays for more period and the blood pressure of the masses rise to the threshold level of “enough is enough” then  people will take there future in there hand and topple the current dying system so our “masters” sitting in Washington need a change , a change like Zardari who with his wicked smile believes can fool the whole nation, intellectuals, lawyers, students etc .

Zardari is backed by low lives like Nawaz, Maulana diesel, Asfand Yaar etc to accompany him to achieve the goals for which he cashed the death of his wife (Benazir Bhutto, I don’t know after wasting so much time and elimination of key witnesses and proofs how her death can properly be investigated ?) and soon after the removal of Musharraf the parties in Musharraf camp will join him (you can see it how MQM played a “neutral” role in Sind assembly during the impeachment resolution).

SCBA has increased the deadline to 15 September but I still have doubts that Mr. Zardari will take the risk to restore the independent judges without protecting the NRO, he is not here to protect the rights of people, he has nothing to do with roti, kapra or makaan and all he cares about his greed and lust of power for which he can do any thing.

Sooner or later the nation will realize that the solutions of there problems are not in the hands of the dictators like Musharraf( people are there who have hopes with him, can only regret on this) or feudals like Zardari or corrupt businessmen like Nawaz or killers and looters like Altaf or soulless mullahs like Maulana Fazal ur Rehman , people have to rise for there own country them-selves.

It’s time to rise against the forces of status-quo and work for real social and economic justice in the country.

Go! Status-Quo G0!

Dr Aafia’s court appearance raises questions–>A shame for American democracy,concepts of human rights and a test case for American judicial system

August 16, 2008 2 comments

United4Justice:Dr Aafia’s case is a real shame for American democracy, concepts of human rights and civil liberty and a real test case for American judicial system.

It’s a real shameful aspect of American society that the US media(influenced by zionists and neo-cons) is portraying a real false image of innocent Dr. Aafia.

No matter what the charges (even I say right or wrong), the treatment with a lady and a mother of 3 children (Allah knows where the 2 children are, whether alive or become a part of a long list of innocent people who lost their lives and stature of human beings in the war against humanity (which US calls terrorism)).

Elizabeth Fink, the lawyer of Dr. Aafia rightly said to the media, “Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her…. She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side.”

Dr Aafia’s court appearance raises questions(Daily Times)

* Amnesty International calls US govt’s account of Aafia attacking officials ‘extraordinary’
* Security official says federal prosecutors concerned that Dr Aafia’s case is being oversold as coup against terrorism

LAHORE: The United States military has rejected claims that Pakistani doctor Aafia Siddiqui, who has been missing for the past five years, was being illegally detained and tortured, a report in the Christian Science Monitor said on Friday.

The report said, Siddiqui appeared before a US court in Brooklyn, New York, last week on charges of attempting to murder American servicemen in an Afghanistan shooting incident.

But her first court appearance has raised disturbing questions about her treatment and the conduct of the war on terror, with lawyers claiming she was secretly arrested five years ago, tortured by Afghan and US officials, and framed for crimes she did not commit.

The charges are the latest wrinkle in a case that has pitted the governments of the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan against Siddiqui’s family and lawyers as well as international human rights groups.

Agence France-Presse reports that the US military has rejected claims that Siddiqui was being held in military detention during the five years she was missing, the report said.

“She has never been held in US military custody,” spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Rumi Nielson-Green told AFP.

Extraordinary: But outside observers have begun to doubt the credibility of the US military’s claims.

Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director for Amnesty International, called the government’s account “extraordinary” in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR).

“It seems extraordinary to imagine that four US agents who’d gone to pick her up, two military, two FBI, along with at least two Afghan translators, were somehow surprised by this woman, who overpowered them, grabbed a gun, flipped the safety, fired off a couple of shots, and then could only be subdued by shots to the torso,” said [Zarifi].

“If the story suggested by the US government is accurate, it paints a very unflattering picture of the competence of forces who are literally on the frontlines of the ‘war on terror’,” he said. “If the US story is not true, then we’re looking at a serious breach of US and international law when a prisoner in custody is shot.”

Coup: A law enforcement official who didn’t want to be named said federal prosecutors in Manhattan were concerned that the case against Siddiqui was being oversold as a coup against terrorism.

“It’s not clear it was even a target list,” the official said.

Siddiqui’s legal team paints a very different picture of what has happened to their client. They say she has been set up by the government, with one of her lawyers, Elizabeth Fink, telling the Associated Press, “Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her…. She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side.”

At a hearing on Monday, a Manhattan federal magistrate-judge ordered Siddiqui, wounded in the July 18 shooting incident, to get a physical examination within 24 hours. Her next court date was postponed until September. She appeared in court in a wheelchair.

NPR reports that Siddiqui’s lawyers say she was arrested in 2003, shortly after she disappeared in Pakistan with her three children, and was held and tortured in a secret US prison in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has also been identified by her legal team as the mysterious “prisoner 650” at Bagram Air base, a female prisoner in solitary confinement that other prisoners claim to have heard screaming.

Siddiqui’s lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, told NPR that she suspects her client was set up. She suspects Siddiqui was being held captive, was dropped off at the compound and then was immediately picked up again with “conveniently incriminating evidence”.

Whitfield Sharp says she has proof that Siddiqui was actually being held at Bagram Air Base, in a secret prison in Afghanistan, for the past five years. The FBI, the Justice Department and CIA officials say unequivocally that they haven’t been holding Siddiqui and don’t know where she has been the past five years. daily times monitor

Peddle-a-Citizen Inc.–> by Babar Sattar in The News

August 16, 2008 3 comments

A very informative article is written by Mr. Babar Sattar in The News related to Dr. Afia Siddiqi case(must read).

Peddle-a-Citizen Inc.
Legal eye

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Babar Sattar

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad. He is a Rhodes scholar and has an LL.M from Harvard Law School

“We have captured 689 [members of Al Qaeda] and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of ‘not doing enough’ in the war on terror should simply ask CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan,” boasts General Musharraf on page 237 of his autobiography. Who were these 369 Al Qaedians and how many of them are citizens of Pakistan, the general doesn’t state. Was Dr Afia Siddiqui amongst them? Did she fetch the general hefty prize money for being kidnapped from Karachi in 2003 under the watchful eye of his regime and transported to the US penitentiary in Bagram? Can a government indulge in a trade more reprehensible than trafficking citizens?

The general further states in In the line of Fire (page 238) that “the policy followed by Pakistan on the extradition of foreigners has been first to ask their countries of origin to take them back. If a country of origin refuses (as is normally the case), we hand the prisoner over to the United States.” Whence did the general derive this authority to script his own extradition policy? Did no one tell this man – who, to the misfortune of our troubled land and its battered populace, has been at the country’s helm for too long – that in Pakistan the extradition of citizens and foreigners alike is governed by a law called The Extradition Act, 1972? This law mandates that “every fugitive offender shall be liable to be apprehended and surrendered in the manner provide in this Act.”

Under Section 6 of the Extradition Act a foreign state must requisition the Pakistani government for the surrender of a fugitive offender. To pursue the request, the government must order a judicial inquiry into the extradition offense to be conducted by a magistrate pursuant to Section 7. Under Section 11, if “the federal government is of the opinion that the fugitive offender ought to be surrendered” in view of the enquiry conducted by the magistrate under Section 8, “it may issue a warrant for the custody and removal of the fugitive offender and for his delivery at a place and to a person to be named in the warrant.” While the Pakistani government has the right to simply refuse a foreign state’s extradition request without even ordering an enquiry, it has no authority whatsoever to hand a prisoner over to the US without abiding by the judicial due process.

It is not that Pakistan and the US do not have a sufficient basis for exchanging fugitives under the formal extradition framework. The two countries also have a treaty arrangement too. An extradition treaty was signed between the US and the UK in London on Dec 22, 1931, and its provisions were extended to British India from March 9, 1942. As a successor state Pakistan inherited the treaty obligations. And after the Extradition Act entered into force on Feb 20, 1973, the Pakistani government formally endorsed the US-UK treaty for being in operation in Pakistan, in accordance with Section 3(1) of the Extradition Act. But why should the US bother to go through a formal extradition process with all its attendant procedural and substantive protections (read inconvenience) when the Pakistani government is more than pleased to sweep up citizens and foreigners alike in the name of fighting terror and cart them off to secret US detention centres across the globe?

It is true that the Bush administration has singlehandedly run into dirt the image of the US as a friend and advocate of rule of law. Human rights and civil liberties groups within the US are dismayed at the post-9/11 legislative acts and executive policies of the Bush administration and the substantive harm they have done to erode established standards of human rights protections around the globe. The infamous Patriot Act is one such measure. On Nov 13, 2001, President Bush passed the Military Order – “Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against terrorism” – under which non-US nationals can be meted out military justice at the president’s discretion: tried in a military court devoid of ordinary procedural protections; detained in conditions prescribed by the Secretary of Defence; and with no right of appeal before any court of law.

Thus in its post-9/11 madness. The US has deliberately introduced discrimination within its justice system on the basis of nationality. What won the Bush administration almost as much disrepute domestically and around the world as the Patriot Act/Military Order was the leaked Torture Memo drafted by the US Department of Justice to advise the Bush Administration and the CIA. It stated that the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment implemented under title 18 of the US Code “prohibits only the most extreme acts by reserving criminal penalties solely for torture and declining to require such penalties for cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Torture was defined as physical pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”

Would parading alien prisoners naked or even their rape in US penitentiaries amount to torture? Not under the legal advice rendered by the Department of Justice in the Torture Memo. The US laws and policies specially contrived to persecute non-US nationals is a matter of record, as are narratives of appalling abuses carried out with impunity in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo under the Bush administration. Civilized countries have protested these despicable US laws and practices and also exhibited reluctance to extradite even foreigners to the US due to the knowledge that their basic rights will stand prejudiced post-extradition. But even in its deranged terror-phobic mode, the US has restricted itself to abusing and torturing non-nationals only.

One thing the Musharraf regime cannot be held liable for is nationality-based discrimination. The Afia Siddiqui case highlights the Musharraf regime’s policy of trafficking citizens and foreigners alike, oblivious to all legal and moral constraints.

Why fault the Bush administration for torturing Dr Siddiqui and denying her fundamental rights? Did President Bush swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the citizens of Pakistan? The crucial question is not whether Afia Siddiqui can be tried in the US after being arrested in Afghanistan, but who ordered her kidnapping from Karachi and transportation to the Bagram prison in 2003 and who all in Pakistan are complicit in this illegal and shameful act. One of the most fundamental promises of our Constitution stated in Article 9 is that “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty, save in accordance with law.” Article 10 further guarantees that no person shall be arrested and detained for a period of over 24 hours without being produced before a magistrate.

Dr Afia Siddiqui has been denied these fundamental rights and so have hundreds of others who have been missing for years. How do our rulers sleep at night when they reign over a state that treats its own in the fashion that we have treated Afia Siddiqui and other missing persons? In face of such disgrace and illegality being perpetrated by the executive, can the judiciary pursue a conscientious course of action other than that being followed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary—i.e., to require law enforcement agencies to account for disappeared citizens and plug their trafficking? The people of Pakistan and the PPP-led government must do all they can to highlight the atrocities that have been committed against Afia Siddiqui and provide her all the assistance she needs in defending herself against fabricated US charges – right out of a badly scripted movie.

But Dr Siddiqui’s life, liberty and dignity would not have been at the mercy of the US had she not been wronged by the Musharraf regime in the first place. There is no point directing all our ire against the Yanks when it is actually our saviours at home who are culpable in the first resort. Did Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi feel no shame while shedding crocodile tears in the Parliament over the treatment being meted out to Afia Siddiqui, despite the fact that she was kidnapped and hauled to Afghanistan under his government’s watch. Instead of passing hollow resolutions against the US to reclaim the nation’s honour, the parliament should (a) order an inquiry into the kidnapping of Afia Siddiqui, (b) ensure that all other missing persons are accounted for immediately, and (c) include in the charge-sheet against the General his admission of carting individuals to the US in utter disregard of our legal and constitutional provisions.

Email: sattar@post.harvard.edu

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